Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anchiornis was a small dinosaur that lived in China during the late Jurassic period, between about 160 and 155 million years ago.

Anchionris was very small, and had a total length of around 13 inches (34 centimeters). It is believed to have only weighed about 4 ounches (110 grams).

Both of the first two fossil specimens of Anchionris that were discovered show definite evidence of the animal having borne feathers. While the first specimen preserved only faint traces of these feathers, the second specimen discovered showed a much better impression of feathers, even with sufficient detail for scientists to study the number and location of individual feathers. As a result, scientists now know that Anchiornis had flight feathers on both its front and hind limbs. Additionally, we know that feet of Anchiornis (except the claws) were also covered with feathers, and that the head, neck, torso, and first part of the tail were covered wth downy feathers, and the rear of the tail bore tail feathers ("rectrices").

It has been suggested that the Anchiornis might have been able to fly or glide. The main reasons for this suggestion are that Anchiornis had a particularly bird-like wrist, and that it also had relatively long front limbs. Additionally, since Anchiornis had relatively short hind limbs, it does not seem to have been well adapted to a fast-running lifestyle.

Scientific Classification
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Sauropsida
Superorder : Dinosauria
Order : Saurischia
Suborder : Theropoda
(unranked) : Coelurosauria
Infraorder : Deinonychosauria
Family : Troodontidae
Genus : Anchiornis

Read more interesting topic about dinosaur fossils.


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