Named By: D.-Y. Hu, J. A. Clarke, C. M. Eliason, R. Qiu, Q.-G. Li, M. D. Shawkey, C.-L. Zhao, L. D'Alba, J. K. Jiang & X. Xu - 2018.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Anchiornithidae.
Species: C. juji (type).
Size: Roughly estimated at about 40 centimetres long.
Known locations: China, Hebei Province - Tiaojishan Formation.
Time period: Oxfordian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skull and skeleton preserved on a slab, including feather impressions.
is a genus of anchiornithid dinosaur that lived in Asia during the late
Jurassic. Caihong was a very small dinosaur,
roughly about forty
centimetres long in life. Caihong is noted for
covering the entire body except for the snout and claws. Study of
melanosome associated with Caihong show that in
life Caihong probably
had black iridescent feathers over most of its body, while the
feathers of the head, neck, chest and base of the tail were
brightly coloured. This patterning is suggested by the observation
that these feathers had platelet like melanosomes denoting colours like
those seen in trumpeter birds. This is because the platelets are
solid with no air bubbles, like the platelet melanosomes of these
birds. At the time of its description, this also means that Caihong
is the earliest known appearance of platelet like melanosomes in the
- A bony-crested Jurassic dinosaur with evidence of iridescent plumage highlights complexity in early paravian evolution. - Nature Communications 9(217). - D.-Y. Hu, J. A. Clarke, C. M. Eliason, R. Qiu, Q.-G. Li, M. D. Shawkey, C.-L. Zhao, L. D'Alba, J. K. Jiang & X. Xu - 2018.