Microraptor

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Microraptor

Microraptor (My-crow-rap-tor), Small Robber, lived in the Early Cretaceous Liaoning province, China. It is important in being the first non-avian dinosaur that is smaller than Archaeopteryx and thus eliminates the previous size difference between birds and non-avian dinosaurs. It is unique among dromaeosaurs in having more bird-like teeth and a smaller number of back bones. Its foot has features comparable to arboreal birds, but it has been suggested that it was also partly ground-dwelling. Fuzz-like skin remains from the pelvic area are similar to that of Beipiaosaurus and Sinornithosaurus. Considered a dromaeosaurid by its discoverers, but it shows many similarities to troodons and birds. The specimens of the second species show complete covering of downy feathers over the body and flight feathers on the head, tail, legs and arms.


Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References


Genera and Species

Classification: Theropoda, Tetanura, Coelurosauria, Dromaeosauridae

Species: M. zhaoianus, M. gui.


Characteristics

Microraptor is characterized by small feathered head crest and may have been a 4-winged glider. Small blade like and serrated teeth. It has teeth that vary in shape depending on position in the mouth.


Size

LENGTH: 48 cm (19 in)



Behavior

It probably preyed upon small animals and insects and flew between trees using a skiing posture.


History of Discovery

Discovered Xu, Zhou and Wang, 2000, found with feather impressions, keratin claw sheaths.


Paleoenvironment

Found in China in wooded areas near the lake shore.


References

1. Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp.3275). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.

2. Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia (pp. 1520). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.