Named By: F. Zhang & Z. Zhou - 2000.
Classification: Chordata, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Enantiornithes, Protopterygidae, Protopterygiformes.
Species: P. fengningensis (type).
Size: Body Length about 10 centimetres long.
Known locations: China - Huajiying Formation.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete specimen preserved on a slab.
Protopteryx is a genus of enantiornithine bird that lived in Asia during the early Cretaceous. An interesting note about Protopteryx is that it is among the most primitive enantiornithine birds known to live in the early Cretaceous. Protopteryx was very small, only about ten centimetres from head to tail (excluding the feathers). Protopteryx was almost certainly flight capable, and likely flew amongst the trees in the dense forested areas of early Cretaceous China. Protopteryx is also noted for having two elongated feathers that grew from the tail.
- A primitive enantiornithine bird and the origin of feathers. - Science 290:1955-1959. - F. Zhang & Z. Zhou - 2000.
- On the horizon of Protopteryx and the early vertebrate fossil assemblages of the Jehol Biota. - Chinese Science Bulletin. 53 (18): 2820–2827. - Fan Jin, FuCheng Zhang, ZhiHeng Li, JiangYong Zhang, Chun Li & ZhongHe Zhou - 2008.