Biggest four-winged feathered dinosaur found in China

  • Living
  • Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014

It had ‘four wings’ and extra-long feathers but this turkey-sized dinosaur flew no better than a chicken.

This creature that lived in China 125 million years ago was certainly strange-looking. Called Changyuraptor yangi, not only did it have feather-covered forelimbs akin to wings as well as legs covered in feathers, its  tail feathers were exceptionally long — up to 30cm in length. Las Vegas showgirls would've killed to have them on their headdresses. 

Despite having feathers, Changyuraptor, which measured a bit more than 1.3m and weighed roughly 4kg, is not a bird but rather a very bird-like dinosaur. If a person saw Changyuraptor, the reaction likely would be: “Hey! That is a weird-looking bird,” according to paleontologist Alan Turner of Stony Brook University in New York, one of the researchers. “So, think a mid-sized turkey with a very long tail,” Turner added.

Mid-sized turkey: Since cameras didn't exist 125 million years ago, here are two different artistic depictions of Changyuraptor yangli, the biggest bird-like dinosaur discovered so far. The feathers on its arms as well as its legs give the dinosaur the appearance of having two sets of wings. Despite the feathers, scientists think it was probably better at gliding than flying. The human silhouette below gives an idea of how big the animal was.

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