Fossil of Massive Four-Winged Raptor Found in China

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The fossil of a newly discovered dinosaur has been found in China. At nine pounds and four feet long, the four-winged carnivore is believed to have been three times heavier and 60 percent longer than the second biggest four-winged dinosaur.

It also had some stellar plumage and some killer teeth. According to Dr. Luis Chiappe:

The new species had long feathers not just on its wings but also on its hind legs, making it one of only a handful of "four-winged" dinosaurs. It also had big, sharp teeth and sharp claws, indicating it was carnivorous. Its exact diet is unknown, but fossils of similar dinosaurs have been found with fish and birds in their guts."

What on earth would you name such a thing? Apparently, the answer is Changyuraptor yangi.

The first part of its name means "long-feather raptor," and the second part honors a Chinese financial supporter. 

Stony Brook's Dr. Alan Turner believes we can divine some important things about the evolution of flight from the discovery, including a breed of bird that was more a glider than a flyer:

“The long bony tail of Changyuraptor and the foot long feathers it sported are unlike the short tails in modern birds. So how it functioned aerodynamically would have been quite different from living birds. However, this is exactly the sort of tail we see in the earliest birds and their immediate precursors, which means avian flight evolved in animals with long tails. Changyuraptor provides an excellent opportunity to investigate just what this tail might have been good for.”

Steven Spielberg has not been photographed with its carcass, yet. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.