Changyuraptor yangi, yes this is the name of the non avian dinosaur which has been discovered in China. It is a non avian dinosaur and is 125 million year old. It measured up to four feet long and this made it the largest theropod which ever took to flight.

Changyuraptor yangi is a member of a group of predatory feathered dinosaurs known as Microraptorines . This group includes a number of small four winged species. They are known as four winged not because they have four wings but because they had exceptionally long feathers on their hind legs.

Changyuraptor yangi is an early Cretaceous raptor and was discovered in the Liaoning Province of northeastern China. It showed that these dinosaurs were flying long before the birds separated as a separate entity from the dinosaurs. The tail feathers of the Cretaceous raptor were incredibly long at 30 cm and constituted about 30% of the total length of the skeleton. It had the longest known feather featured in any non avian dinosaur. It is also the longest known therapod with long feathers attached to its hind limb. Its body was completely covered with feathers much akin to modern birds.

Changyuraptor yangi was a fully grown adult as it was evident after an analysis of its bone microstructure. It weighed about nine pounds and had sharp knife like serrated teeth which hinted that it was a predator which preyed upon bird, fish remains, small mammals, and lizards. It lived mostly in temperate forests filled with conifers and ferns along with the first flowering plants.

These features especially the long feathers on the tail served just like elevator and flaps of an aircraft, helping the dinosaur to control up and down pitch movements. Lead paleontologist Luis Chiappe and his team believes that there is compelling evidence now that birds descended from dinosaurs, and dinosaurs were also capable of flight

2 Responses

  1. Christian

    Actually the largest theropod that ever took flight was Argentavis, not to mention Changyuraptor probably couldn’t actually fly. Still this is a truly awesome discovery!

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