Friday, June 7, 2013

Aurornis xui

Today's post is on the new and controversial Aurornis xui!
An illustration of a theropod dinosaur.
        Aurornis Xui is a newly discovered bird like theropod from late Jurassic of China, about 160 million years ago. Aurornis was about 50 cm long, had claws, a toothed jaw, and was feathered. The animal looked a heck of alot like an Archaeopteryx,  raising questions about which species was the first bird. Archaeopteryx was from 150 million years ago, meaning Aurornis came first, so it could be that in reality Aurornis, rather than Archaeopteryx was the first bird. I would find this kind of disappointing, because that would mean today's birds are not, as everyone currently believes, deinonychosaurs, the family that includes all dromaeosaurs, like velociraptor. Instead they would be from a lineage before the deinonychosaurs, and so would be more of a cousin to the dromaeosaurs than a direct descendant. It's a shame because I've really enjoyed picturing my Thanksgiving turkeys like this.
Anyways thanks for reading, next update will be about a sauropod I'm thinking.


Information for this one from

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