Skip to main content

A new Jurassic theropod from China documents a transitional step in the macrostructure of feathers

24Citations
Citations of this article
53Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text

Abstract

Genuine fossils with exquisitely preserved plumage from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of northeastern China have recently revealed that bird-like theropod dinosaurs had long pennaceous feathers along their hindlimbs and may have used their four wings to glide or fly. Thus, it has been postulated that early bird flight might initially have involved four wings (Xu et al. Nature 421:335-340, 2003; Hu et al. Nature 461:640-643, 2009; Han et al. Nat Commun 5:4382, 2014). Here, we describe Serikornis sungei gen. et sp. nov., a new feathered theropod from the Tiaojishan Fm (Late Jurassic) of Liaoning Province, China. Its skeletal morphology suggests a ground-dwelling ecology with no flying adaptations. Our phylogenetic analysis places Serikornis, together with other Late Jurassic paravians from China, as a basal paravians, outside the Eumaniraptora clade. The tail of Serikornis is covered proximally by filaments and distally by slender rectrices. Thin symmetrical remiges lacking barbules are attached along its forelimbs and elongate hindlimb feathers extend up to its toes, suggesting that hindlimb remiges evolved in ground-dwelling maniraptorans before being co-opted to an arboreal lifestyle or flight.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Lefèvre, U., Cau, A., Cincotta, A., Hu, D., Chinsamy, A., Escuillié, F., & Godefroit, P. (2017). A new Jurassic theropod from China documents a transitional step in the macrostructure of feathers. Die Naturwissenschaften, 104(9–10), 74. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-017-1496-y

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free