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CHANGYURAPTOR

a microraptorian theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.
changyuraptor.png
Pronunciation: JYAHNG-yoo-RAP-tor
Meaning: Long-feathered plunderer
Author/s: Han et al. (2014)
Synonyms: Liaoning, China
First Discovery: Liaoning, China
Chart Position: 695

Changyuraptor yangi

With tail feathers almost a foot long, which is roughly one-third of its total body length, Changyuraptor owns the longest feathers of any known non-bird dinosaur. Furthermore, it's the largest known member of Microraptoria—the midget theropods that sport integument in the form of feathers, and on Changyuraptor (and Microraptor) this covering extended to the lower legs where long pennaceous feathers seem to form a second pair of wings. Having mentioned "feathers" four times already you may be thinking that we erred and that Changyuraptor was actually a bird. It wasn't, but it wasn't far off either, though it couldn't fly like a modern bird nor glide like a bi-plane, because its shoulder and hip joints weren't supple enough.

Han et al. reckon this new discovery explains the role that tail feathers played during aerodynamic behavior such as flying or gliding, specifically that its long tail was also wide (it had a low-aspect-ratio) and provided stability and control during descent. Flying-Changyuraptor Though the ability to avoid a face-first crash landing would have been amazingly beneficial, the author's conclusions are based on the assumption that Changyuraptor could fly or glide in the first place. And the possibility that an ostentatious display to attract a mate may have been the primary (or even sole) reason for its long feathers can't be ruled out at this point.
(Yang's long-feathered plunderer)Etymology
Changyuraptor is derived from the Chinese "cháng yǔ" (long feather) and the Latin "raptor" (plunderer, snatcher, robber or thief). The species epithet, yangi (YAHNG-ie), honors Professor Yang Yandong.
Discovery
The remains of Changyuraptor were discovered at Xijianchang in the Yixian Formation (Jehol Biota), Liaoning Province, China, by local farmers.
The holotype (HG B016) is an almost complete skeleton and skull with feather impressions, compressed on a plate and counterplate.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Aptian
Age range: 125-112 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 1.4 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 6 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Han G, LM Chiappe, S-A Ji, M Habib, AH Turner, A Chinsamy, X Liu & L Han (2014) "A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance". Nature Communications 5: 4382 doi:10.1038/ncomms5382.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "CHANGYURAPTOR :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 27th Apr 2017.
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