Caudipteryx

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Quick Facts
NameCaudipteryx
Diet
Weight7 kg
Length1 meter
Height0.7 meters
Period
Caudipteryx
Human

Caudipteryx was a genus of peacock-sized theropod dinosaurs from the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous periods. In 1997, fossils were discovered in the Yixian Formation of the Sihetun area of Liaoning Province in northeastern China. The name means "tail feather" in reference to the tail feather that the dinosaur may have fanned out for display.

Caudipteryx was one of several types of feathered dinosaurs; its body, short arms and tail were covered with feathers, which probably helped keep it warm. These dinosaurs had short forelimbs, large eyes and long, sharp, pointed teeth, and they had deep, bulbous roots. However, its forelimbs were too short and were symmetrical, indicating that it did not fly. It ran on two long legs and was probably a fast runner given its long legs and light body. The prominent feature of Caudipteryx was its tail with a generous fan of feathers up to 6 to 8 inches long. The colors of the feather fossils were dark and light, giving us an idea of what Caudipteryx looked like. Caudipteryx was omnivorous. It lived in a wetland area, perhaps hunting small fish and amphibians with its long, sharp teeth.

It reached 100 cm and weighed between 6 and 7 kg, about the size of a turkey.

What does caudipteryx mean?

The name caudipteryx means "tail feather" in reference to the tail feather that the dinosaur may have displayed for display.

When does Caudipteryx live?

Caudipteryx was a genus of peacock-sized theropod dinosaurs from the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous.

What does caudipteryx eat?

Caudipteryx were omnivores, eating both plants and animals. 

Where was the caudipteryx found?

In 1997, the fossils were discovered in the Yixian Formation of the Sihetun area of Liaoning Province, northeast China.

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

Who discovered them?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

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  • Zhou, Z., and Wang, X. (2000). "A new species of Caudipteryx from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning, northeast China." Vertebrata Palasiatica, 38(2): 113-130. PDF fulltext
  • Osmolska, Halszka, Currie, Philip J., Barsbold, Rinchen (2004) "The Dinosauria" Weishampel, Dodson, Osmolska. "Chapter 8 Oviraptorosauria" University of California Press.
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  • Witmer, L. M.. (2002). The Debate on Avian Ancestry; Phylogeny, Function and Fossils. In: Luis M. Chiappe, Lawrence M. Witmer (Hrsg.): Mesozoic Birds. Above the Heads of Dinosaurs. University of California Press, Berkeley CA u. a., ISBN 0-520-20094-2, S. 3-30.
  • Zhou, Z.; Hou, L. (2002). The Discovery and Study of Mesozoic Birds in China. In: Luis M. Chiappe, Lawrence M. Witmer (Hrsg.): Mesozoic Birds. Above the Heads of Dinosaurs. University of California Press, Berkeley CA u. a., ISBN 0-520-20094-2, S. 160-183.
  • Feduccia, A. (1999). The Origin and Evolution of Birds. 420 pp. Yale University PressNew Haven. ISBN 0-300-07861-7.
  • PDF Archived on September 8, 2006 at the Wayback Machine.Supplementary information
  • Dyke, G.J., and Norell, M.A.. (2005). "Caudipteryx as a non-avialan theropod rather than a flightless bird." Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 50(1): 101-116 PDF fulltext
  • Turner, Alan H.; Pol, Diego; Clarke, Julia A.; Erickson, Gregory M.; Norell, Mark (2007). "A basal dromaeosaurid and size evolution preceding avian flight". (pdf). Science 317: 1378-1381. doi:10.1126/science.1144066. 
  • Paul, G.S. (2002). Dinosaurs of the Air: The Evolution and Loss of Flight in Dinosaurs and Birds. Johns Hopkins University PressBaltimore. ISBN 0-8018-6763-0
  • Lü, J., Dong, Z., Azuma, Y., Barsbold, R., and Tomida, Y. (2002). "Oviraptorosaurs compared to birds." In Zhou, Z., and Zhang, F. (eds.), Proceedings of the 5th Symposium of the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution., 175-189. Beijing Science Press.
  • Maryanska, T., Osmólska, H., and Wolsam, M. (2002). "Avialian status for Oviraptorosauria." Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 47(1): 97-116. PDF fulltext
  • Martin, Larry D.,(2004) "A basal archosaurian origin for birds", "Acta Zoologica Sinica 50(6):978-990.
  • Martin, L.D., and Czerkas, S.A.. (2000). "The Fossil Record of Feather Evolution in the Mesozoic." American Zoologist, 40(4): 687-694 pdf PDF fulltext
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • The name Caudipteryx means "tail feather".
  • He walked on two legs.
  • The body was covered with feathers. 
  • It had short forelimbs, which meant it could not fly.
  • It was omnivorous.

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