Monday, April 11, 2016

New Findings in the Study of Feathered Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs

New Findings in the Study of Feathered Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs




An oviraptorid dinosaur Huanansaurus ganzhouensis, belonging to the derived oviraptorid dinosaur, was discovered from the Late Cretaceous deposits in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province. Its unique skull characteristics provide a new insight into the craniofacial evolution of oviraptorosaurid dinosaurs, paleogeographical distribution and paleoecological environments. Zhenyuanlong suni from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western part of Liaoning Province is a large, short-armed, winged dromaeosaurid dinosaur. It provides the evidence of feather morphologies and distribution in a short-armed dromaeosaurid dinosaur. The discovery of Zhenyuanlong also provides important evidence for the study of the diversity, the origin of feathers and the flight of Liaoning dromaeosaurid dinosaurs. Orientognathus chaoyngensis is the first Late Jurassic pterosaur discovered in western Liaoning and it is the largest rhamphorhynchinae pterosaur. The discovery of Orientognathus not only fills the temporal gap between the Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas of China but also plays an important role in the understanding of radiation evolution of rhamphorhynchids from the Late Jurassic. The above-mentioned important discoveries play a key role in our understanding of the hot and difficult issues such as the evolution of oviraptorid dinosaurs, the feather evolution in dromaeosaurid dinosaurs and the origin of bird feathers. In particular, the Ganzhou Dinosaurian Fauna is named based on the discovery of Huanansaurus.

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