Sinornithosaurus

To the best of our knowledge images are available by CC.

Learn more about Sinornithosaurus

Quick Facts
NameSinornithosaurus
Diet
Weight9 kg
Length2 meters
Height0.5 meters
Period
Sinornithosaurus
Human

Sinornithosaurus was a genus of feathered dromaeosaurid dinosaurs that lived during the Early Cretaceous, 130-125 million years ago in what is now China. The name means "Chinese bird-lizard," which was a close relative of Velociraptor. In 1999, it was the fifth non-avian feathered dinosaur discovered. Paleontologists found the fossils in the Jianshangou beds of the Yixian Formation, dated to 124.5 million years ago.  

Sinornithosaurus was the most famous dino-bird fossil discovered in China's Liaoning Quarry because it is the most complete. Sinornithosaurus had different types of feathers on other parts of its body. The head was short and hairy, the arms and tail were long and distinctly bird-like, with intermediate length tufts along its back. Considering that Sinornithosaurus had unique large, sickle-shaped claws on each of its hind legs used to tear at its prey, it bears a more remarkable resemblance to the other dino-birds of the Mesozoic Era.

One study indicated that the body of Sinornithosaurus was completely covered with feathers. In a 2010 study, it was found that the feathers of Sinornithosaurus had significant color in different regions of its body. Later, in 2012, the study showed that the feathers of Sinornithosaurus were reddish brown, yellow, black and gray spread throughout its body.

Sinornithosaurus was an agile and active carnivore during its time. It probably hunted in groups. Its tail acted as a counterweight, allowing great precision and releasing the powerful claws on its feet.

Sinornithosaurus was estimated to be 90-120 cm long and weighed 3 kg.     

Is sinornithosaurus poisonous?

Well, there are a lot of rumors around Sinornithosaurus about it being venomous. Perhaps because Sinornithosaurus has three lines of evidence: apparently long teeth in the upper jaw, grooves in those teeth that could conduct venom, and a pouch in the skull that is said to be the perfect place for a venom gland. However, an argument ensued between Gianechini and his colleagues; these features had nothing to do with venom. 

First, the "elongated" teeth appeared to have slightly protruded from their sockets and did not have extraordinarily long fangs.

Second, the "poison grooves" on the teeth were not consistent with what was seen or did not stand up to scrutiny either.

Third, there is no evidence of a special pocket in the skull for a venom gland.

What did Sinornithosaurus eat?

Sinornithosaurus was an agile and active carnivore during its time, hunting small prey such as birds.

When were the Sinornithosaurus fossils discovered?

Sinornithosaurus was the most famous dino-bird fossil discovered in China's Liaoning Quarry in 1999 because it is the most complete. 

What made Sinornithosaurus so deadly?

Sinornithosaurus had deadly features such as unique large, sickle-shaped claws on each of its hind legs used to tear its prey.

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?

  • Swisher, Carl C., Wang, Yuan-qing, Wang, Xiao-lin, Xu, Xing, Wang, Yuan. (1999). "Cretaceous age for the feathered dinosaurs of Liaoning, China". Nature 400:58-61 1 July 1999.
  • Xu, X.; Zhou, Z.; Prum, R.O. (2001). "Branched integumental structures in Sinornithosaurus and the origin of feathers". Nature 410 (6825): 200-204. PMID 11242078. doi:10.1038/35065589. 
  • Naish, Darren (2012). Planet Dinosaur : The Next Generation of Killer Giants. Firefly Books. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-77085-049-1. 
  • Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L.; Orr, Patrick J.; Benton, Michael J.; Zhou, Zhonghe; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing and Wang, Xiaolin (2010). Fossilized melanosomes and the color of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds". Nature 463(7284), p. 1075. http://oro.open.ac.uk/22432/2/41064696.pdf
  • Qiang, Ji, Norell, Mark A., Gao, Ke-Qin, Ji, Shu-An, Ren, Dong. (2001) "The distribution of integumentary structures in a feathered dinosaur" "Nature" 410:1084-1087 26 April 2001.
  • Gong, E., L.D. Martin, D.E. Burnham, and A.R. Falk. (2009). "The birdlike raptor. Sinornithosaurus was venomous." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (Published online before print December 14, not yet published in paper)
  • Xu, Xing, Wang, Xiao-Lin, Wu, Xiao-Chun. (1999) "A dromaeosaurid dinosaur with a filamentous integument from the Yixian Formation of China" "Nature" 401:262-266 16 September 1999.
  • Xu, Xing, Wu, Xiao-Chun. (2001). "Cranial morphology of Sinornithosaurus millenii Xu et al. 1999 (Dinosauria:Theropoda:Dromaeosauridae) from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning, China". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 38:1739-1752 (2001)
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • The name Sinornithosaurus means "Chinese bird-lizard", which was a close relative of Velociraptor.
  • It was the fifth non-avian feathered dinosaur discovered. 
  • The feathers of Sinornithosaurus were significantly colored in different regions of its body.
  • Sinornithosaurus was an agile and active carnivore in its day.
  • The Sinornithosaurus fossils were almost completely uncovered, making it the most famous dino-bird fossil found in China's Liaoning Quarry.

More to Explore!

en_USEnglish

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This