A 6 foot 6 inch fossil was found encased in limestone near an ancient volcano in the north east of China. It was perfectly preserved in the limestone thanks to the eruption that buried it all those years ago and it would appear that it was feathered, but unable to fly. This discovery would also suggest that other dinosaurs such as a descendant of this new dinosaur, the Velociraptor, would have looked more like killer birds than a scaled reptilian species.
This new discovery has been named “Zhenyuanlong”, which translates into “Zhenyuan’s Dragon”. This expidition was a joint effort between The University of Edinburgh and The Chinese Academy Of Geological Sciences. It is currently being studied at a museum in Jinzhou. The head researcher of the project Dr. Steve Brusatte is over the moon with the discovery, saying that it’s:
“The single most beautiful fossil I have had theprivilege to work on”
The fossil is said to have short arms and that it is covered in “quill-pen” feathers. It also has proper wings and that while it is a dinosaur it looks exactly like a turkey or a vulture, according to Dr. Brusatte. He continued by stating about how much of a surprise it might come to the public that dinosaurs may have looked even stranger and scarier, “like big fluffy birds from hell”. It’s large body means that it was unlikely that the bird was unable to fly, at least that’s somewhat reassuring.
You can find the study that has been published here.