Sinosauropteryx Dinosaur Facts

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Sinosauropteryx
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Sinosauropteryx



dinosaur picture sinosauropteryx

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Theropoda
  (unranked) Coelurosauria
  Family Compsognathidae
  Genus Sinosauropteryx
Sinosauropteryx was a small carnivore (meat-eater) dinosaur that lived in China during the early Cretaceous period, between about 125 and 122 million years ago.

Sinosauropteryx was about 3¼ to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 meters) long - most of its length being taken up by its extremely long tail. It is estimated to have weighed around 5½ pounds (2.5 kilograms).

Fossils of Sinosauropteryx show had a covering of what look like down-like feathers. The usual interpretation is that these are indeed primitive feathers with a very simple structure, however an alternative interpretation has also been proposed - that they are the remains of collagen fibers. It has been noted that patches appear on the sides of the body, back, neck skull, arms, leg, and the top and bottom of the tail, suggesting that the animal was completely covered with these "feathers" in life. On the tail, there are also a series of lighter and darker bands, which may be the remains of melanin, and thus give an indication of the animal's living appearance.

We also have some direct evidence of Sinosauropteryx's diet. One fossil specimen shows the remains of a lizard in its stomach. A second fossil, which is also believed to be Sinosauropteryx, was found to contain the remains of the jawbones of three small mammals, two of the jaws being from Zhangheotherium (a Symmetrodont - an extinct order of primitive mammals), and the other one being from Sinobaatar (a Multituberculate - another extinct order of mammals).

Finally we also some information about the reproduction of Sinosauropteryx. The fossil which had a lizard as part of its preserved stomach content, also contained a number of eggs (two of which can be clearly seen). It is not thought that these are eggs that the animal ate (because they are in the wrong part of the body), but rather they are thought to be the animal's own unlaid eggs. Each egg is about 1 inch (25 millimeters) wide, and just under 1½ inches (38 millimeters) long.


Sinosauropteryx Timeline:

Sinosauropteryx was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 125 to 122 million years ago

Sinosauropteryx was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 125 to 122 million years ago

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Sinosauropteryx Facts

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

  2. "Sinosauropteryx" means "Chinese lizard-wing".

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

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

  5. Sinosauropteryx lived between about 125 million years ago and 122 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

  6. Sinosauropteryx lived in China.

  7. Sinosauropteryx was a carnivore (meat-eater).

  8. Sinosauropteryx was about 3¼ to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 meters) long.

  9. Sinosauropteryx weighed about 5½ pounds (2.5 kilograms).

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