Museum Frankfurt


Microraptor zhaoianus

Order: Saurischia
Suborder:   Theropoda


Diet: meat, insects
Weight: approx. 350 grammes
Length: approx. 0,3 bis 0,4 metres
Age: 136-120 million years (Lower Cretaceous)
Fossil site Liaoning province (China)

at Seckenberg:

cast of fossil plate

is the smallest known dinosaur. The foot claws of this hunter were sharp and bent backwards. It had feathers with a shaft and vane, which are built asymmetrically, as in today's flying birds. Probably the feather barbs were also tied together, as in modern flight feathers, by small hooklets. Since Microraptor, like all Coelurosauria, was built like a bird, plumage can be detected, and as it had relatively long arms, it is conceivable that this dinosaur could glide for short distances in the air.
The type Microraptor gui had such plumage not only on the arms, but also on the legs. Perhaps
there were dinosaurs that flew through the air on four wings.
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