Zhenyuanlong suni: A Newly Identified Species of Feathered Dinosaur

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A RESTORATION OF ZHENYUANLONG IN A CRETACEOUS FOREST. Art: Zhao Chuang

A newly identified species of feathered dinosaur – who has been unearthed in 2015 in China – is a close cousin of the Velociraptor, made famous by the Jurassic Park films.

It is the largest dinosaur ever to have been unearthed with a well-preserved set of bird-like wings, researchers said.

The dinosaur – dubbed Zhenyuanlong suni by researchers – grew to more than five feet in length, and had very short wings compared with other dinosaurs in the same family, consisting of multiple layers of large feathers.

The holotype of the large-bodied, short-armed Liaoning dromaeosaurid Zhenyuanlong suni gen et. sp. nov. (JPM-0008).

‘The movies have it wrong – this is what Velociraptor would have looked like too,’ said Dr Steve Brusatte, of Edinburgh University’s School of GeoSciences, who co-authored the study.

This latest discovery suggests that winged dinosaurs with larger and more complex feathers were more diverse than previously thought.

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