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More Dinosaur Fact Sheets
Sinosauropteryx Fact Sheet
Go to a Printable Version
Dinosaur/Paleontology Dictionary
NAME: Meaning - Sinosauropteryx means "Chinese lizard wing"
Pronounced - SIEN-o-sawr-OP-ter-iks
Named By - Ji Qiang and Ji Shuan
When Named - 1996
DIET: Carnivore (meat-eater) - it ate small mammals (the remains of one were found fossilized in its stomach)
SIZE: Length - 4 ft (1.25 m) long
Height - 11.4 inches (29 cm) tall at the hips
Weight - 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg)
WHEN IT LIVED: Late Cretaceous period, about 135-121 million years ago
WHERE IT LIVED: Fossils were been found in Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, northeastern China, Asia.
FOSSILS: Three complete skeletons of Sinosauropteryx have been found, including trace fossils of small fibers (protofeathers), stomach contents, unlaid eggs, and some internal organs.
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)
  • Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)
  • Order Saurischia - lizard-hipped dinosaurs
  • Suborder Theropoda - bipedal carnivores
  • Tetanura - advanced theropods with three fingers
  • Infraorder Coelurosauria - lightly-built fast-running predators with hollow bones and large brains
  • Superfamily Maniraptoriformes - advanced coelurosaurs with a fused wrist bone
  • Family Compsognathidae
  • Genus Sinosauropteryx
  • Species S. prima (type species named by Ji Q. and Ji S., 1996)
Sinosauropteryx had protofeathers that covered its body, probably acting as insulation. This tiny bipedal dinosaur had very short arms, long legs, and a very long tail.

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