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T. rex skull ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur
News
Earliest Flying Dinosaur (Not) Found
Archaeoraptor liaoningensis
October 14, 1999 [amended Jan. 25, 2000]

Paleontologists have discovered a fossil that was thought to be the earliest flying, feathered dinosaur, but was recently found to be a fraudulent fossil made by combining two fossils.

The fraud was named Archaeoraptor liaoningensis (meaning "ancient robber from Liaoning [China]"); it was a turkey-sized bird fossil plus a theropod dinosaur fossil tail that dates (supposedly) from the early Cretaceous period. This biped had hollow bones, feathers, and a long tail (that was from another fossil). This meat-eater also had sharp claws and teeth. It had a full set of feathers [and a long tail, which belonged to a dromaeosaurid dinosaur]. Its shoulder girdle and breast bone were similar to those of modern birds, indicating that it may have been able to fly.

The fossil was reported to have been found in Liaoning Province, China. A tremendous number of phenomenal fossils have been found there in the last few years, including many feathered dinosaurs and early birds.

RELATED LINKS:
A page on Theropod Dinosaurs, bipedal, meat-eating dinosaurs that led to the birds.

Other fossils found in China.

A site about Birds.

A Chart of geological time.

Feathered dinos:
Information about Sinosauropteryx prima.

Information about Caudipteryx zoui.

A page on Protarchaeopteryx robusta.

Information on Unenlagia comahuensis.




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