|Age:||Late Jurassic |
|Locality:||Yixian Formation, Sihetun, China|
One of the most important dinosaur finds of recent years has been Sinosauropteryx, a small compsognathid theropod known from several specimens from China. The dinosaur was distinguished by a very long tail, yet more significantly by impressions of "protofeathers".
Sinosauropteryx prima Ji Q. and Ji S., 1996 (type species)
MEANING: Chinese lizard wing
CLASSIFICATION: Theropoda: Coelurosauria: Compsognathidae.
ERA: Early Cretaceous: Barremian - Aptian 127 - 112.2 Ma.
LENGTH: Up to 1.2 m (4 ft).
LOCATION: Asia (China).
FOSSILS: 3 nearly complete skeletons, 1 complete and articulated skeleton.
COMMENTS: Discovered in 1995, this small, Compsognathus-like, three-fingered theropod caused
considerable excitement due to a line of structures along its back that were initially interpreted as feathers.
It is definitely not a bird, and the presence of feathers on a small theropod would be very persuasive
evidence for endothermy. However, further examination has not convincingly demonstrated that the
structures are in fact feathers, so debate continues to rage. But there are definitely filamentous fibres 8 - 40 mm (.3 - 1.6 in) over most of the body and head, and 5 cm (2 in) long feather-like structures at the end of the tail. A second specimen has been found (an adult, in contrast to the original smaller juvenile), which is reportedly completely covered with integumentary filaments. It has the longest tail of any dinosaur in proportion to body length, with 64 caudal vertebrae, while the skull is longer and the forearms shorter and stouter than in Compsognathus. The first finger is extremely long (nearly as long as the radius). It has a high, narrow body, with 13 dorsal ribs and an indication of a cartilaginous breastbone. Within the stomach was the skeleton of a small lizard, and the abdominal cavity showed the presence of a pair of eggs. These may have been eaten, but were more likely waiting to be laid. It has in some early reports been called Compsognathus, and may in fact be an Asian member of this genus.
Senior synonym of Compsognathus prima.
This cast is a beautiful perfect replica of the original specimen. Great price!
NGMC 2123 and NIGP 127586 (type specimen): Slab and counter slab, complete skeleton (juvenile).
127586 is the smallest specimen at 0.7 m (2.3 ft).
NIGP 127587: Almost complete skeleton, missing only distal half of tail. (length 1.02 m).
NGMC 2124: Nearly complete skeleton. Yixian Formation, Jehol Group, Jianshangou-Sihetun area (41.30 N; 120.50 E) 25 km (16 miles) S
of Beipiao, Liaoning province, China – 2 other nearly complete skeletons?
Fiberglass + GELCOAT
At sale, we may provide these publications (just request it):
CHEN, P-J, DONG, Z-M & ZHEN, S-N. (1998). An exceptional well-preserved theropod dinosaur. NATURE 391; 147 – 152
Currie P.J & Chen P. (2001) Anatomy of Sinosauropteryx prima from Liaoning, northeastern China. Pages: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 1705-1727.
DONG, Z. (2000). A tiny fossil lizard in the stomach content of the feathered dinosaur Sinosauropteryx from northeastern China. 5th International Meeting of the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution and the Symposium on Jehol Biota. Vertebrata PalAsiatica. Beijing, China. Supplement to Vol. 38: 10.
JI, Q & JI, S.-A., (1996). On the Discovery of the earliest fossil bird in China (Sinosauropteryx gen. nov.) and the origin of birds. CHINESE GEOLOGY 10 (233); 30 – 33
YUANQING WANG, XIAOLIN WANG,YUAN WANG, FUCHENG ZHANG, JIANGYONG ZHANG & GANG GU (1999). Stratigraphy and age of confuciusornis and Sinosauropteryx site, western liaoning, china.