Confuciusornis was a genus of primitive crow-sized birds that lived during the Late Jurassic and Late Cretaceous. The remains were discovered in the Chaomidianzi Formation of Liaoning Province, China. The flying dinosaur was named after the Chinese moral philosopher Confucius.
Confuciusornis had many similarities to today's modern birds, but possessed some striking differences. The specimen shows that it had feathers comparable in size to those of similar flying birds of today. However, its forearm was shorter than the hand and arm bone. It had three free fingers on its hand, like Archaeopteryx and other theropod dinosaurs. It had a short tail, which is common in modern birds today. Unlike modern birds, Confuciusornis took several years to mature or grow slowly.
Other than that, it had a toothless beak and is the oldest bird known to have a beak. It was very primitive compared to today's modern birds. Its toes were used for walking and perching, while the large claws on the thumb and third toe were used for climbing. It traveled in large flocks on the surfaces of lakes, a habitat consistent with a flying animal. It fed on plant materials thanks to its toothless bill.
Confuciusornis was estimated to have a wingspan of 70 cm, 50 cm in length, and weighed between 0.2 and 1.5 kg, probably about the size of a modern crow.
Confuciusornis fed on plant materials thanks to its toothless beak.
The flying dinosaur was named after the Chinese moral philosopher Confucius.
Of course he did! Confuciusornis had forelimbs or wings which are the key to flying.
Like today's modern birds, Confuciusornis had feathers comparable in size to those of similar flying birds today.