Eosinopteryx: Fossil of New Bird-like Dinosaur Discovered

Posted on January 24, 2013

Eosinopteryx


A fossil of a new bird-like dinosaur from the Jurassic period, named Eosinopteryx, was discovered in northeastern China. The bird was 30 centimeters (about 1 foot) in length. The bird was incapable of flights despite its feathers and appearance. Scientists say its small wingspan and bone structure would have restricted its ability to flap its wings. However, the small dinosaur could have been a great runner. It had toes suited for walking on the ground.

Dr Gareth Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Southampton and co-author of the paper published in Nature Communications, said in a statement, "This discovery sheds further doubt on the theory that the famous fossil Archaeopteryx - or 'first bird' as it is sometimes referred to - was pivotal in the evolution of modern birds. Our findings suggest that the origin of flight was much more complex than previously thought."

Dr. Dyke told BBC News that Eosinopteryx may have lived in a swampy, forest environment where it jumped from tree to treee.

Image: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences