Named By: Q. Ji & S.-A. Ji - 1997.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Oviraptorosauria.
Species: P. robusta (type).
Size: Roughly estimated to have a reconstructed skeletal length of about 80 centimetres for the holotype individual.
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province - Yixian Formation.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and post cranial skeleton.
Protarchaeopteryx was so named because of a superficial similarity to the genus Archaeopteryx. However today, Protarchaeopteryx is seen as a very primitive member of the Oviraptosauria, and one that bears a strong resemblance to the genus Incisivosaurus. Protarchaeopteryx was a small dinosaur, and one that probably specialised in hunting small animals like lizards and primitive mammals, though larger invertebrates could have also been eaten.
- [Protarchaeopteryx gen. nov.—a new genus of Archaeopterygidae in China]. - Chinese Geology 238(3):38-41. - Q. Ji & S.-A. Ji - 1997.