Named By: G. Han, L. M. Chiappe, S. Ji, M. Habib, A. H. Turner, A. Chinsamy & L. Han - 2014.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Dromaeosauridae,
Species: C. yangi (type).
Size: About 1.2 meters long.
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province - Yixian Formation.
Time period: Barremian? of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete individual preserved flat on a slab of rock which includes feather impressions.
is another of an increasing number of dromaeosaurid
dinosaurs that have
been dubbed ‘four-winged dromaeosaurs’. This is because
Changyuraptor did not just have well developed
pennaceous feathers on
the arms; they also grew from the back of the legs. The first of
these dromaeosaurs to be described was Microraptor
which is speculated
to have used its wings to glide for short distances. However,
Changyuraptor is both a little bit longer and much
more heavily built
than Microraptor, casting serious doubts that
have been capable of even gliding flight. Changyuraptor
have still been a fast and nimble predator, easily capable of chasing
down everything from small lizards to perhaps even smaller dinosaurs.
When Changyuraptor was first described in 2014 it was heralded as the largest ‘four-winged dromaeosaur’ known, being a little bit longer, but significantly more heavily built than earlier described forms. However just one year later a new genus called Zhenyuanlong was named and this threatens to take away the title from Changyuraptor. Feather impressions of Zhenyuanlong are only known from the forward portion of the body and the arms. No feathers are known of the legs, but there is every possibility that this may just be a result of the feathers decaying before they were preserved. If Zhenyuanlong was another four-winged dromaeosaur then it would take the title from Changyuraptor given that the holotype individual of Zhenyuanlong is easily larger in both length and body weight than the holotype individual of Changyuraptor.
- A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance. - Nature Communications 5(4382):1-9. - G. Han, L. M. Chiappe, S. Ji, M. Habib, A. H. Turner, A. Chinsamy & L. Han - 2014.