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Saturday, July 19, 2014

'Four-winged' Dinosaur fossil found in China

Scientists on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 have described a strange dinosaur fossils whose body covered with feathers, and is seen as having "four wings" and might be able to fly. According to a study published in the Nature Communications journal, a meat-eating dinosaur that lived in China at 125 million years ago, called Changyuraptor yangi. The fossil unearthed in Liaoning Province, China.
Illustration of the new raptorial dinosaur, Changyuraptor. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/Wa0FBr)
This dinosaur has a very long tail and hairy, up to 1 ft (30 cm) and is the longest feathers on dinosaurs ever found. Fur is also close forelimb and foot of Changyuraptor, which is not regarded as a bird but more like a very bird-like dinosaurs. The length of the creature was about 4 ft (1.3 meters) and weighs roughly 9 lbs (4 kg).

If people see Changyuraptor, the reaction might be: "Hey! It was a strange bird," said Alan Turner, one of the researchers and paleontologists from Stony Brook University in New York, United States. "Think of a medium-size turkey with a very long tail," Turner said in a telephone interview.
The fossil found in Liaoning Province in northeastern China shows the details of Changyuraptor's plumage.. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1qmiqLe)
Scientists have identified dinosaurs with "two pairs of wings" known as microraptorine and Changyuraptor is the greatest. Bird stems from a small feathered dinosaur. Archaeopteryx, the size of a crow, which lived about 150 million years ago is regarded as the earliest known bird. But many before and after the dinosaurs had feathers and other birds of similar character.

"Changyuraptor was very, very similar to Archaeopteryx and other primitive birds. So there are a lot of other dinosaurs such as Anchiornis and Pedopenna., But they have some properties that are less in birds and lacking several properties owned by a bird," said Turner.

According to Luis Chiappe, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who led the study said that Changyuraptor live in a wooded environment with a mild climate, hunting of birds, mammals, reptiles, and small fish.

"Animals like Changyuraptor may not move with the power to fly like modern birds. Nevertheless, Changyuraptor and dinosaurs like he could flap its wings, and of course hairy surface on the front and hind legs," said Turner.

"So this increases the likelihood they can glide or" fly "with a kind of primitive way. Which I think: if you push them from the tree, they would fall quite slowly," he added. If Changyuraptor could fly, the long feather tail could help lower the current speed down and allow it to land safely.

"This helps explain how animals like Changyuraptor could move in some form of air movements - flying, hovering, and or down in a controlled manner - regardless of their size," said Turner.

At present birds, feathers have a wide-range of functions beyond the fly, including for show, species recognition and mating rituals. According to Turner, Changyuraptor fur also has several functions. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | REUTERS]
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