Yi Qi: the Dragon Dinosaur

Okay, not a real dragon. It likely didn’t breathe fire. But a new member of the short list of flying vertebrates that includes just birds, bats, and pterosaurs.
A failed evolutionary experiment in animal flight, the pigeon-sized Yi Qi “Strange Wing,” (pronounced Yee Chi) was feathered but also had membraneous wings between its fingers:

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.34.25 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.34.45 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.35.03 PM  Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.35.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-02 at 8.36.16 PM

Yi qi was not a direct ancestor of birds, but a close relative from an extinct line.  Bearing the shortest name ever given to a dinosaur, Yi qi belonged to a family of tiny creatures called Scansoriopterygids, which had feathers and exceptionally long finger-like digits that may have been used for climbing trees or catching insects.                                                                                                                            Known only from fossils found in China, Scansoriopterygids were closely related to primitive bird types like Archaeopteryx, considered a transitional species between non-avian dinosaurs and birds.

Yi qi, the newest addition to the group, weighed about 380 grammes (13.4 ounces) as an adult, and had tiny teeth set in a four cm long (1.6-inch) skull.                                                                                                                                        It had feathers considered too flimsy to be useful in flight. But what really sets Yi qi apart is a bony rod, about 13 cm (five inches) long, jutting from each wrist.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-weird-winged-dino-science-world-aflutter.html#jCp

About Stan Flouride

THIS BLOG IS ALWAYS AD-FREE I make stuff and do things.
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