Microraptor in flight


Microraptor is a small feathered dinosaur with a big story to tell. It is one of the 300 fossils found to date that hint at the evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs. Its fore and hind legs were covered in long feathers designed for flight. These are true flight feathers as seen in modern birds. Less than a metre long and possessing a claw designed for climbing, Microraptor was at home in the forests of China.

Having climbed high into a tree, Microraptor would only have been capable of gliding from tree to tree by spreading its limbs to form two pairs of rudimentary wings. This ability would have helped it pursue prey or escape an enemy. Microraptor didn't have things all its own way, however, as its long feathers would have made it clumsy on the ground and therefore vulnerable to predators.

Scientific name: Microraptor

Rank: Genus

Common names:

small one who seizes

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

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