Date
25 May 2017
The preserved skeleton of the short-armed and winged feathered dinosaur from the early cretaceous period 125 million years ago is shown in this handout photo provided by the University of Edinburgh.
The preserved skeleton of the short-armed and winged feathered dinosaur from the early cretaceous period 125 million years ago is shown in this handout photo provided by the University of Edinburgh.

What is it? Scientists puzzled by nearly intact dinosaur fossil

A pristine, nearly intact fossil of a feathered dinosaur has been unearthed in northeastern China but scientists are still debating whether the winged creature was able to fly.

Scientists said the fast-running meat-eater was about 1.8 meters long and covered with simple hair-like feathers over much of its body, with large, quill-like feathers on its wings and long tail.

It’s the largest winged dinosaur and is thought to have lived about 125 million years ago during the cretaceous period, according to researchers cited by Reuters.

University of Edinburgh paleontologist Steve Brusatte christened it zhenyuanlong suni, a “fluffy feathered poodle from hell” because of its oddness and its mouth which is full of sharp teeth.

It’s a member of a group of dinosaurs called raptors closely related to birds and a cousin of velociraptor, although that dinosaur, featured inaccurately in the Jurassic Park films as much bigger than it was, lived about 40-50 million years later.

This dinosaur had wings that looked like those of a modern bird like an eagle or vulture.

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CG/RA

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