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MEI

a duck sized troodontid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.
Mei long
Pronunciation: MY
Meaning: Soundly sleeping
Author/s: Norell and Xu (2004)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Liaoning, China
Chart Position: 453

Mei long

With its legs folded neatly beneath its body and head tucked under its left wing in a similar roosting position of modern birds, the first fossilized Mei long looked to be soundly sleeping when it passed away and probably never saw death coming. Even as an adult, the Late Cretaceous was a tough time to live what with climate change, volcanic activity, shifting tectonic plates and bigger, nastier predators lurking in the shadows, so this was probably a blessing in disguise. Furthermore, the name-bearing specimen of Mei was a mere juvenile, apparently seperated from its family and it died alone. Sniff. Who would have thought that Dino-Checking could be so emotional?

Mei was about the size of a duck with large nostrils, many closely packed teeth in its upper jaw, a relatively small skull, a large U-shaped wishbone and long stilt-like hindlimbs. Its "keep warm" pose adds another 2kg to the argument that dinosaurs, or at least troodontids, were warm blooded and had to generate and maintain their own body heat, so it's a cruel coincidence that evidence preserved in the surrounding rock suggests Mei may have been roasted in the feather by a downpour of hot volcanic ash.[#]
(Soundly-sleeping dragon)Etymology
Mei (寐) is a Chinese term meaning "to sleep soundly", and was the joint-shortest dinosaur name (along with the alvarezsaurid known as Kol) until Yi arrived in 2015.
The species epithet, long (龙), also Chinese, means "dragon".
Discovery
Mei was discovered at the Yixian Formation, Lujiatun, Shangyuan, Beipiao City, western Liaoning Province, China in layers of volcanic and riverbed sediments.
The holotype (IVPP V12733 - housed at Beijing's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology) is a complete articulated skeleton, probably a juvenile (around 53cm long), beautifully preserved in three-dimensional detail. A second specimen (DNHM D2154), discovered later at Kaoshangtun, was preserved in a similar sleeping position, as was a specimen of Sinornithoides, to whom Mei is closely related.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Aptian
Age range: 125-120 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 0.7 meters
Est. max. hip height: 0.2 meters
Est. max. weight: 2 Kg
Diet: Omnivore
References
Xing Xu and Mark A. Norell (2004) "A new troodontid dinosaur from China with avian-like sleeping posture".
• John Long & Peter Schouten (2009) "Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds".
• C. Gao, E.M. Morschhauser, D.J.Varricchio, J. Liu and B. Zhao (2012) "A Second Soundly Sleeping Dragon: New Anatomical Details of the Chinese Troodontid Mei long with Implications for Phylogeny and Taphonomy".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "MEI :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 21st Sep 2017.
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