Caudipteryx Dinosaur Facts

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Caudipteryx
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Caudipteryx



dinosaur picture Caudipteryx

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Theropoda
  (unranked) Coelurosauria
  Parvorder Oviraptorosauria
  Family Caudipteridae
  Genus Caudipteryx
Caudipteryx was a small dinosaur that lived in the early Cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago. Fossils of the animal were first discovered in China during the late 1990s.

Caudipteryx was about3½ feet (1 meters) long, and had a mixture of bird-like and reptile-like features. The bones of its hand, with a reduced third finger, resembled those of birds, it had a shortened tail, like birds, teeth like those of primitive birds, possibly a reversed first toe, like that of birds, as well as over all body proportions which resembled those of modern flightless birds. Additionally, Caudipteryx is known to have had long feathers on its forearms and tail, and short downy feathers on its body.

Despite having a number of bird-like features, Caudipteryx is not thought to have been capable of flight - instead, it is thought to have been a fast runner. As far as diet is concerned, it is generally thought to have been an omnivore - the presence of gastroliths (stones that were swallowed to help digest tough plant matter) in at least two specimens suggest that plant material did form a significant part of its diet.

Fossilized Caudipteryx showing feathers:
Fossil Caudipteryx with feathers


Caudipteryx Timeline:

Caudipteryx was an omnivore (ate meat and plants) that lived about 125 million years ago

Caudipteryx was an omnivore (ate meat and plants) that lived about 125 million years ago

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Caudipteryx Facts

Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Caudipteryx:
  1. Caudipteryx was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Caudipteryx" means "tail feather".

  3. Caudipteryx was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Caudipteryx was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Caudipteryx was a Theropod - a member of a group of related bipedal dinosaurs that included the ancestors of birds (although Caudipteryx was not itself an ancestor of birds).

  5. Caudipteryx lived about 125 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

  6. Caudipteryx lived in China.

  7. Caudipteryx was a omnivore (ate both meat and plants).

  8. Caudipteryx is thought to have swallowed stones which would have been used to help grind up food, especially tough plant material (some modern birds do the same thing). Such stones ("gastroliths") have been found in at least two specimens of Caudipteryx.

  9. Caudipteryx was about 3½ feet (1 meters) long.

  10. Caudipteryx weighed about 15 pounds (7 kilograms).

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