Protarchaeopteryx robusta

  • Pronounced:  Pro -tar - key - Op - ter - ix

  • Diet:  Carnivore (Meat-Eater)

  • Name Means:  "First Archaeopteryx"

  • Length:  3 feet (1 m)

  • Height:  2 feet (.7 m)

  • Weight:  10 pounds (4 kilos)

  • Time:  Early Cretaceous - 135 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Asia

Protarchaeopteryx was a small, feathered, bird-like dinosaur that lived in China. It was discovered in 1996 and it is the first dinosaur fossil to positively prove that some dinosaurs had feathers. The rock that holds the fossil shows many small details and the feathers are seen clearly. However, the type of feathers on this dinosaur are not the same kind seen on modern birds that fly. They are not flight feathers, so scientists think that these feathers were used to help keep the dinosaur warm or that they were used to help identify each other. This dinosaur is a member of the raptor family that includes Velociraptor.

Protarchaeopteryx is based on a remarkable fossil preserved in the fine-grained stone from Liaoning, China. It laid to rest the argument about dinosaurs being feathered. Now discussion has shifted to the type of feathers that were on the dinosaurs and when flight feathers evolved.

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