Zhenyuanlon (Zhenyuan Lon) - feathered dinosaur

In July this year, a nearly complete, new fossil of a feathered dinosaur was unearthed in northeastern China. Scientists say the 1.8 m long carnivore seems to have been an exceptionally good runner, but, even though its whole body was covered with feathers, was most probably incapable of flying.

Zhenyuanion lived in the Cretaceous Period, around 125 million years ago. It is probably the largest feathered dinosaur discovered to date. Paleontologist Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh, called the specimen a "fluffy feathered poodle from hell".The British scientist said that otherwise this dinosaur had reminded him of a bird, that "it looked more like a turkey, or emu, or even a big chicken." Its name in Chinese means a "Zhenyuan Sun's Dragon".

Its anatomic shape shows that the large raptor had indeed sported wings just like a modern bird, say, an eagle or vulture, but, unfortunately, not for flying. Steve Brusatte is of the opinion that Zhenyuanion used its wings to attract a mate, or else to protect its eggs in a nest. The British scientist's hypothesis yields a number of interesting issues related the evolution of wings, such as: how and why they have evolved.

Autor: admin

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