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I Know Dino Podcast: Changyuraptor


    Episode 22 is all about Changyuraptor, a massive, flying, non-avian dinosaur.

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    On this episode, we focus on:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Changyuraptor yangi, which implies “lengthy feathered robber”
    • Changyuraptor is 125 million years outdated, not a hen, however a non-avian dinosaur that would in all probability fly
    • Lived within the Creteaceous interval, in China (present in northeastern China, within the Liaoning Province)
    • Gang Han, a paleontologist from Bohai College, and his crew described Changyuraptor in Nature Communications in July 2014
    • Much like its shut relative Microraptor (had “hindwings” on legs, elaborate tail feathers), however was a lot greater. Microraptor was in regards to the measurement of a hawk, whereas Changyuraptor was nearer to an eagle’s measurement (4.3 ft lengthy with tail feathers that have been nearly 1 foot lengthy–the longest discovered on a non-avian dinosaur)
    • Changyuraptor had a 21 foot wingspan
    • Changyuraptor was NOT a hen (first birds descended from dinosaurs 25 million years earlier; Changyuraptor, like Microraptor, was a dromaeosaurid
    • Additionally NOT a pterosaur, a reptile recognized for its flying capabilities
    • A part of Microraptoria group, predatory dinosaurs with 4 wings (which means they’d such lengthy feathers on their legs it appeared like a second set of wings)
    • Nonetheless, it’s unclear how Changyuraptor moved by the air
    • Some paleontologists thought it could have flown with a spread-eagle or biplane posture, however the concept doesn’t match with Changyuraptor’s anatomy, which in all probability wasn’t very versatile within the hips, like most theropods (they in all probability had their legs immediately below their our bodies whereas within the air)
    • Might have climbed timber
    • They in all probability landed on the bottom however spent a number of time in timber
    • Most likely used all their limbs to fly by dense timber
    • They might flip and brake quick, perhaps to catch small prey
    • Changyuraptor  is the largest theropod with feathers on its “hindwings”, or decrease hind limbs
    • Had feathers that lined its complete physique
    • Tail feathers could have helped it land safely (extra management)
    • The tail feathers helped decelerate its touchdown (hold it from getting injured)
    • But it surely’s unclear if the four-wings was one thing solely microraptorines had, or a standard ancestor had
    • Due to its massive measurement, it in all probability couldn’t fly for lengthy durations of time
    • Feathers on the arm weren’t effectively preserved, so scientists have no idea the way it supported its weight within the air
    • Changyuraptor’s tail feathers are about 30% the size of its skeleton
    • Feathers could have been used for show (brightly coloured)
    • Weighed about 9 kilos and 60% bigger than the final microraptorine discovered
    • When it lived, it’s habitat was a broad peninsula with volcanoes, moist forest with a number of conifer and ginkos, dry summers and chilly winters
    • Numerous totally different carnivores and herbivores, together with Yutyrannus additionally lived there
    • Additionally a number of birds, bugs, primitive mammals, and a few flowering vegetation, lived there (and lakes filled with fish, frogs, and salamanders)
    • Unsure what Changyuraptor ate, however fish and hen bones have been present in its guts, so could have eaten small prey (birds, lizards, salamanders, fish, mammals)
    • Changyuraptor is a part of Microraptoria (which implies “small one who seizes”)
    • Microraptoria is a clade of dromaeosaurids theropods (they’re probably the most primitive ones)
    • They lived 125 million years in the past in China, and will have glided by timber
    • They have been normally small, with adults being between 2.5-3 ft lengthy and weighing as much as 2.2 kilos (besides Changyuraptor, which is large by comparability)
    • Early birds (like Archaeopteryx) even have lengthy feathers on their hindlimbs, like Microraptor and Changyuraptor, however trendy birds normally have bald legs and fly with simply two wings (not 4)
    • Older dromaeosaurids appeared extra hen like (Changyuraptor, at 125 million years, appeared extra like a hen than Velociraptor, at 75 million years)
    • Enjoyable reality: The oldest recognized dinosaurs date again to 230 million years in the past, and have been present in Madagascar. A crew of paleontologists, together with researchers from UCSB, found them in 1999. Earlier than they have been discovered, the oldest recognized dinosaur was Eoraptor, a 228 million yr outdated dinosaur whose identify means “daybreak thief”