Wednesday 15 January 2020

Wulong bohaiensis - the dancing dragon

A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered in China. Scientists named the dinosaur Wulong bohaiensis. Wulong is Chinese for "the dancing dragon." The unique specimen is 120 million years old. The fossil preserves feathers and bones that provide new information about how dinosaurs grew and how they differed from birds.

Its bones were thin and small, and the animal was covered with feathers, including a wing-like array on both its arms and legs and two long plumes at the end of its tail.
Larger than a common crow and smaller than a raven, but with a long, bony tail which would have doubled its length, Wulong bohaiensis had a narrow face filled with sharp teeth. It is one of the earliest relatives of Velociraptor, the famous dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived 75 million years ago. The specimen is thought to be a juvenile. It was found more than a decade ago in the fossil-rich Jehol Province.

The discovery is significant. Not only is it a dinosaur that is new to science, it also shows the connection between birds and dinosaurs.