Newly Discovered Dinosaur’s Flashy Feathers Captivate Researchers

posted: 07/16/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Zhenyuanlong suni
Chuang Zhao

A newly unearthed dinosaur is giving modern peacocks a run for their money. Discovered in China, Zhenyuanlong suni sports complex feathers never seen on a dinosaur before.

With a peacock-inspired head of rich blue and green feathers and a wing vaguely reminiscent of a monarch butterfly, Z. suni lived approximately 125 million years ago and grew to be five feet tall. The creature's wings contain multiple layers of large, well-developed feathers, which were uncommon amongst its peers: many other dinosaurs had more simplistic, hair-like feathers, according to researchers.

Despite its well-developed wings, researchers do not believe that the dinosaur was able to fly -- it lacks the same muscular anatomy found in flying dinosaurs. The grandiose wings possibly served a similar role to a modern peacock's iridescent train.

"The western part of Liaoning Province in China is one of the most famous places in the world for finding dinosaurs. The first feathered dinosaurs were found here and now our discovery of Zhenyuanlong indicates that there is an even higher diversity of feathered dinosaurs than we thought. It's amazing that new feathered dinosaurs are still being found," remarked study lead author Professor Junchang Lu, of the Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences.

Click here for more information from the University of Edinburgh

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A Dinosaur Neighborhood

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