New feathered dinosaur fossil unearthed in China

The fossil of the newly discovered dinosaur species Zhenyuanlong suni. Junchang Lü & Stephen L. Brusatte

LONDON – A nearly complete, new dinosaur fossil has been unearthed in China, the first in its family to have unusually short feathered wings.

The new species named Zhenyuanlong suni is a close cousin of the dinosaur predator Velociraptor.

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Scientists said the new addition, which lived around 125 million years ago, had multiple layers of dense feathers covering both its wings and tail. Experts, however, believe the feathers are more for display instead of flying.

Steve Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh, co-authored the study published online Thursday in Scientific Reports. He said the newly discovered dinosaur “looks just like a bird … just like an eagle or a vulture.”

The skeleton was discovered in the western part of Liaoning Province in China where the first feathered dinosaurs were found.


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