History UsefulNotes / PrehistoricLifeBirdlikeTheropods

21st Oct '16 5:05:16 PM Berrenta
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Actually, every dromaeosaurid in the original series was a ''Deinonychus'', ''Utahraptor'' included -- which, even though their name clearly means “Utah thief”, were portrayed [[MisplacedWildlife living in Europe]] [[TheyJustDidntCare for some reason]]. And to make the ''Utahraptors'' and the ''Dromaeosauruses'' distinguishable, they show up [[PaletteSwap with a different coloration]]. In this show, ''Utahraptor''s are also portrayed in the way dromaeosaurids were once represented in paleo-art: naked-skinned, [[PantheraAwesome colored like big cats]], chasing an iguanodont [[ZergRush in packs]], jumping on it using their sickle-claws as spurs, and eventually killing it with (a quite exaggerated) ease. Many dino-books have made this thing UpToEleven with ''Dromaeosaurus'', depicting scenes in which these turkey-sized predators chase and kill in packs adult ''Edmontosaurus'' and ''Triceratops'' 500 times heavier. [[ScienceMarchesOn Current paleontology]] suggests that ''Dromaeosaurus'' and the other “raptors” hunted smaller (but still large) prey and only ate the carcasses of the giant herbivores. The bigger dromaeosaurs (''Utahraptor'' and ''Achillobator'') may have been able to take larger game then their smaller relatives; but likely they were more solitary then the much smaller ''Velociraptor'' and ''Deinonychus''. But stop now.

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Actually, every dromaeosaurid in the original series was a ''Deinonychus'', ''Utahraptor'' included -- which, even though their name clearly means “Utah thief”, were portrayed [[MisplacedWildlife living in Europe]] [[TheyJustDidntCare Europe for some reason]]. And to make the ''Utahraptors'' and the ''Dromaeosauruses'' distinguishable, they show up [[PaletteSwap with a different coloration]]. In this show, ''Utahraptor''s are also portrayed in the way dromaeosaurids were once represented in paleo-art: naked-skinned, [[PantheraAwesome colored like big cats]], chasing an iguanodont [[ZergRush in packs]], jumping on it using their sickle-claws as spurs, and eventually killing it with (a quite exaggerated) ease. Many dino-books have made this thing UpToEleven with ''Dromaeosaurus'', depicting scenes in which these turkey-sized predators chase and kill in packs adult ''Edmontosaurus'' and ''Triceratops'' 500 times heavier. [[ScienceMarchesOn Current paleontology]] suggests that ''Dromaeosaurus'' and the other “raptors” hunted smaller (but still large) prey and only ate the carcasses of the giant herbivores. The bigger dromaeosaurs (''Utahraptor'' and ''Achillobator'') may have been able to take larger game then their smaller relatives; but likely they were more solitary then the much smaller ''Velociraptor'' and ''Deinonychus''. But stop now.
28th Jun '16 4:20:20 PM CJCroen1393
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'''Wolverine-Claws dinosaur:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therizinosaurus Therizinosaurus]]''

''Therizinosaurus'' could be considered the Non Identical Twin of ''Deinocheirus'': it was a colossal yet awfully bird-like theropod, just like ''Deinocheirus''; specialized to a non-big-prey-based diet, just like ''Deinocheirus''; was discovered in Late Cretaceous rocks from Mongolia, just like ''Deinocheirus''; is known mainly from forelimbs and few other bits, just like ''Deinocheirus'' before 2014; entered the dinosaur list around the same time as ''Deinocheirus''; and, last but not least, it is another candidate for “the biggest theropod” title, [[MadnessMantra just like]] ''[[MadnessMantra Deinocheirus]]''! But, '''un'''like ''Deinocheirus'', ''Therizinosaurus'' was not a giant ornithomimosaur -- but still an equally huge freak.

Discovered in the 1950s but not recognized as a dinosaur until the 1970s, its forelimbs were slightly shorter but more powerful than those of the giant ornithomimosaur. But ''Therizinosaurus'' had an additional curiosity, one that made it [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter even more awesome]]: [[WolverineClaws three scythe-like claws]] on each hand (hence its name, “scythe lizard”), some ''as long as a human arm''. In short, it had the biggest nails known so far within the entire Animal Kingdom. One of these oversized claws was in fact the first known remain, and for several years, [[ScienceMarchesOn scientists thought it belonged to a giant marine turtle]].

With such poweful weapons, ''Therizinosaurus'' has received in the past the same treatment as ''Deinocheirus''. Some old drawings went as far as to show our “scythe-dino” as a giant carnosaur or deinonychosaur with ''sickle-claws'' on each foot (if ''Therizinosaurus'' was really shaped that way, it would really have been the most BadAss dinosaur one can imagine…). More accurate analyses made in the beginning of the 1990s definitively debunked these fantasies: we now know with a good level of sureness that ''Therizinosaurus'' was a bulky-bodied, round-bellied, and quite slow-moving animal, that used its claws mainly to pull down branches. Furthermore, its jaws were arguably weak with a rounded horny tip and small grinding teeth similar to those seen in its relative ''Segnosaurus''.

This obviously doesn't lessen its general coolness: even with this new shape, ''Therizinosaurus'' remains an odd-looking, powerful beast, and thanks its massive body, it might even be the biggest and heaviest theropod ever discovered, weighing even more than the famous ''[[StockDinosaurs Spinosaurus]]''. Like what we've long done with ''Deinocheirus'', we dino-fans are patiently waiting for new exciting remains of our "WolverineClaws-osaurus" being excavated.

Meanwhile, a special spinoff of ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' from 2002 temporarily recreated our imagination in CGI: in the episode titled “''The Giant Claw''” Nigel Marven talks about ''Therizinosaurus'', [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] its whole ScienceMarchesOn story from a mighty carnivore to a GentleGiant. Nigel is in Late Cretaceous Mongolia searching for the possessor of the eponymous “giant claw”, which the zoologist believes to have pertained to a fearsome predator. After goung through several adventures with other famous dinosaurs of the habitat (''Protoceratops'', ''Velociraptor'', etc.), Nigel witnesses a fight between ''Therizinosaurus'' and ''Tarbosaurus'': even though the former unexpectedly reveals itself to be a herbivore, it easily defeats the tyrannosaur by slapping it in the face with its scythe-claws, obligating the predator to flee. Finally, the [[RuleOfCool therizinosaur licks Nigel’s face]]. Really!

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5th Dec '15 12:33:40 PM CJCroen1393
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In many forms of dinosaur media, you'll frequently see generic raptors living alongside ''TyrannosaurusRex'' and ''Triceratops''. These raptors are typically named after someone in the PowerTrio of the [[StockDinosaur Stock Raptor]] family, ''Utahraptor'', ''Deinonychus'' or ''Velociraptor''. However, there is a small problem here: None of these raptors actually lived with ''T. rex'' or ''Triceratops''. ''Deinonychus'' and ''Utahraptor'' died out long before ''T. rex'' showed up, and ''Velociraptor'' lived at the same time, but on the other side of the planet (though it did live with a close relative of ''Tyrannosaurus''). For the longest time, this common stereotype was seen as inaccurate.

to:

In many forms of dinosaur media, you'll frequently see generic raptors living alongside ''TyrannosaurusRex'' and ''Triceratops''. These raptors are typically named after someone in the PowerTrio of the [[StockDinosaur [[StockDinosaurs Stock Raptor]] family, ''Utahraptor'', ''Deinonychus'' or ''Velociraptor''. However, there is a small problem here: None of these raptors actually lived with ''T. rex'' or ''Triceratops''. ''Deinonychus'' and ''Utahraptor'' died out long before ''T. rex'' showed up, and ''Velociraptor'' lived at the same time, but on the other side of the planet (though it did live with a close relative of ''Tyrannosaurus''). For the longest time, this common stereotype was seen as inaccurate.
5th Dec '15 12:33:08 PM CJCroen1393
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''Acheroraptor'' ("Plunderer of Acheron") was a small raptor, similar to ''Velociraptor'' in appearance, size and likely ecological niche that lived in the Hell Creek Formation at the very end of the Cretaceous. It most likely hunted small game. Later in 2015, another raptor known as ''Dakotaraptor'' was discovered to have been close to ''Achillobator'' in size and ''Deinonychus'' in appearance and niche. What's more, it had quill knobs on its hands and arms, a surefire sign of wing feathers.

to:

''Acheroraptor'' ("Plunderer of Acheron") was a small raptor, similar to ''Velociraptor'' in appearance, size and likely ecological niche that lived in the Hell Creek Formation at the very end of the Cretaceous. It most likely hunted small game. Later in 2015, another raptor known as ''Dakotaraptor'' was discovered to have been close to ''Achillobator'' the ''Jurassic Park'' Raptors in size and ''Deinonychus'' in appearance and niche. What's more, it had quill knobs on its hands and arms, a surefire sign of wing feathers.
feathers.
5th Dec '15 12:30:48 PM CJCroen1393
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Added DiffLines:

'''Thieves from Hell (Creek):''' ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acheroraptor Acheroraptor]]'' and ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakotaraptor Dakotaraptor]]''

In many forms of dinosaur media, you'll frequently see generic raptors living alongside ''TyrannosaurusRex'' and ''Triceratops''. These raptors are typically named after someone in the PowerTrio of the [[StockDinosaur Stock Raptor]] family, ''Utahraptor'', ''Deinonychus'' or ''Velociraptor''. However, there is a small problem here: None of these raptors actually lived with ''T. rex'' or ''Triceratops''. ''Deinonychus'' and ''Utahraptor'' died out long before ''T. rex'' showed up, and ''Velociraptor'' lived at the same time, but on the other side of the planet (though it did live with a close relative of ''Tyrannosaurus''). For the longest time, this common stereotype was seen as inaccurate.

Until 2013.

''Acheroraptor'' ("Plunderer of Acheron") was a small raptor, similar to ''Velociraptor'' in appearance, size and likely ecological niche that lived in the Hell Creek Formation at the very end of the Cretaceous. It most likely hunted small game. Later in 2015, another raptor known as ''Dakotaraptor'' was discovered to have been close to ''Achillobator'' in size and ''Deinonychus'' in appearance and niche. What's more, it had quill knobs on its hands and arms, a surefire sign of wing feathers.

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29th Jul '15 1:59:38 PM Morgenthaler
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Other Liaoning coelurosaurs showed up in the third episode "Dino-Birds" of the miniseries ''PrehistoricPark''. The chosen ones were: the buck-toothed oviraptorosaur ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incisivosaurus Incisivosaurus]]'' because of its [[RuleOfFunny funny look]], the troodontid ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mei_(dinosaur) Mei]]'', which has until 2015 detained the record of “the shortest-named dino” along with the alvarezsaurid ''Kol'' and the sauropod ''Zby'' - the former record-holders were the Australian ankylosaur ''Minmi'' and the oviraptorosaur ''Khaan'', the current one is the scansoriopterygid ''Yi'' (see below), and, naturally, the ever-present ''Microraptor''.[[note]] Note, however, that fossils of ''Incisivosaurus'' and ''Mei'' have not yet been found preserving soft tissues, unlike the other dinosaurs listed here. Nonetheless, being maniraptors, they almost certainly had feathers. Also, ''Microraptor'' is in fact known from a younger formation than the other dinosaurs mentioned here. Finally, some think that ''Incisivosaurus'' (known only from a skull) may be the same as ''Protarcharopteryx'' (known from a skeleton with a badly damaged skull.[[/note]] In “Dino-Birds”, Nigel Marven makes a TimeTravel to the Cretaceous China to save some ''Microraptor''s from extinction; before ending the mission, he encounters several ''Mei'' (referred to by their whole scientific name: ''Mei long'') apparently sleeping in the same bird-like position in which the type specimen was found fossilized (they were actually dead), while the other ''Mei long'' act as the “danger of the forest”, and to fit their fearsome better role, are [[RuleOfCool oversized]] [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology and lack feathers]].

to:

Other Liaoning coelurosaurs showed up in the third episode "Dino-Birds" of the miniseries ''PrehistoricPark''.''Series/PrehistoricPark''. The chosen ones were: the buck-toothed oviraptorosaur ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incisivosaurus Incisivosaurus]]'' because of its [[RuleOfFunny funny look]], the troodontid ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mei_(dinosaur) Mei]]'', which has until 2015 detained the record of “the shortest-named dino” along with the alvarezsaurid ''Kol'' and the sauropod ''Zby'' - the former record-holders were the Australian ankylosaur ''Minmi'' and the oviraptorosaur ''Khaan'', the current one is the scansoriopterygid ''Yi'' (see below), and, naturally, the ever-present ''Microraptor''.[[note]] Note, however, that fossils of ''Incisivosaurus'' and ''Mei'' have not yet been found preserving soft tissues, unlike the other dinosaurs listed here. Nonetheless, being maniraptors, they almost certainly had feathers. Also, ''Microraptor'' is in fact known from a younger formation than the other dinosaurs mentioned here. Finally, some think that ''Incisivosaurus'' (known only from a skull) may be the same as ''Protarcharopteryx'' (known from a skeleton with a badly damaged skull.[[/note]] In “Dino-Birds”, Nigel Marven makes a TimeTravel to the Cretaceous China to save some ''Microraptor''s from extinction; before ending the mission, he encounters several ''Mei'' (referred to by their whole scientific name: ''Mei long'') apparently sleeping in the same bird-like position in which the type specimen was found fossilized (they were actually dead), while the other ''Mei long'' act as the “danger of the forest”, and to fit their fearsome better role, are [[RuleOfCool oversized]] [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology and lack feathers]].
29th Jul '15 1:53:15 PM Morgenthaler
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Despite being a very recent find, ''Gigantoraptor'' has already recevied some mild media attention, appearing in paleo-documentaries like ''PlanetDinosaur'' and ''Series/DinosaurRevolution''. Its [[RuleOfCool awesome-sounding name]] could even make it a new member of the StockDinosaurs in the future.

to:

Despite being a very recent find, ''Gigantoraptor'' has already recevied some mild media attention, appearing in paleo-documentaries like ''PlanetDinosaur'' ''Series/PlanetDinosaur'' and ''Series/DinosaurRevolution''. Its [[RuleOfCool awesome-sounding name]] could even make it a new member of the StockDinosaurs in the future.
21st Jul '15 7:52:47 AM laplaneteetlesoleil
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'''The Mimus family:''' ''Dromiceiomimus'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garudimimus Garudimimus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelecanimimus Pelecanimimus]]''

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'''The Mimus family:''' ''Dromiceiomimus'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dromiceiomimus Dromiceiomimus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garudimimus Garudimimus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelecanimimus Pelecanimimus]]''
19th Jul '15 8:23:43 AM laplaneteetlesoleil
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Among bird-like theropods, the most popular one have already been described in [[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Stock Dinosaurs]]. Very frequent in documentary media have also been: the dromaeosaurid ''Dromaeosaurus''; the troodontid ''Saurornithoides''; the ornithomimid ''Dromiceiomimus'' and the oviraptorid ''Citipati'' (under the name "Oviraptor"). Other maniraptorans have been common sights as well thanks to their important contribute to the Feather Theory in one certain scientific period: ''Avimimus'' (the 1980s and early 1990s), ''Sinosauropteryx'' (late 1990s), ''Microraptor'' (the 2000s) and, more recently, ''Anchiornis''. Finally, you've good chances to see four overgrown bird-like theropods whose anatomy and habits have been a mystery since their first discovery: ''Deinocheirus'', ''Segnosaurus'', ''Therizinosaurus'', and more recently, ''Gigantoraptor''.


to:

Among bird-like theropods, the most popular one have already been described in [[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Stock Dinosaurs]]. Very frequent in documentary media have also been: the dromaeosaurid ''Dromaeosaurus''; the troodontid ''Saurornithoides''; the ornithomimid ''Dromiceiomimus'' and the oviraptorid ''Citipati'' (under the name "Oviraptor"). Other maniraptorans have been common sights as well thanks to their important contribute to the Feather Theory in one certain scientific period: ''Avimimus'' (the 1980s and early 1990s), ''Sinosauropteryx'' (late 1990s), ''Microraptor'' ''[[UsefulNotes/StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs Microraptor]]'' (the 2000s) and, more recently, ''Anchiornis''. Finally, you've good chances to see four overgrown bird-like theropods whose anatomy and habits have been a mystery since their first discovery: ''Deinocheirus'', ''Segnosaurus'', ''Therizinosaurus'', and more recently, ''Gigantoraptor''.




Other Liaoning coelurosaurs showed up in the third episode "Dino-Birds" of the miniseries ''PrehistoricPark''. The chosen ones were: the buck-toothed oviraptorosaur ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incisivosaurus Incisivosaurus]]'' because of its [[RuleOfFunny funny look]], the troodontid ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mei_(dinosaur) Mei]]'', which has until 2015 detained the record of “the shortest-named dino” along with the alvarezsaurid ''Kol'' and the sauropod ''Zby'' - the former record-holders were the Australian ankylosaur ''Minmi'' and the oviraptorosaur ''Khaan'', the current one is the scansoriopterygid ''Yi'' (see below), and, naturally, the ever-present ''Microraptor'' (see below).[[note]] Note, however, that fossils of ''Incisivosaurus'' and ''Mei'' have not yet been found preserving soft tissues, unlike the other dinosaurs listed here. Nonetheless, being maniraptors, they almost certainly had feathers. Also, ''Microraptor'' is in fact known from a younger formation than the other dinosaurs mentioned here. Finally, some think that ''Incisivosaurus'' (known only from a skull) may be the same as ''Protarcharopteryx'' (known from a skeleton with a badly damaged skull.[[/note]] In “Dino-Birds”, Nigel Marven makes a TimeTravel to the Cretaceous China to save some ''Microraptor''s from extinction; before ending the mission, he encounters several ''Mei'' (referred to by their whole scientific name: ''Mei long'') apparently sleeping in the same bird-like position in which the type specimen was found fossilized (they were actually dead), while the other ''Mei long'' act as the “danger of the forest”, and to fit their fearsome better role, are [[RuleOfCool oversized]] [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology and lack feathers]].

to:

Other Liaoning coelurosaurs showed up in the third episode "Dino-Birds" of the miniseries ''PrehistoricPark''. The chosen ones were: the buck-toothed oviraptorosaur ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incisivosaurus Incisivosaurus]]'' because of its [[RuleOfFunny funny look]], the troodontid ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mei_(dinosaur) Mei]]'', which has until 2015 detained the record of “the shortest-named dino” along with the alvarezsaurid ''Kol'' and the sauropod ''Zby'' - the former record-holders were the Australian ankylosaur ''Minmi'' and the oviraptorosaur ''Khaan'', the current one is the scansoriopterygid ''Yi'' (see below), and, naturally, the ever-present ''Microraptor'' (see below).''Microraptor''.[[note]] Note, however, that fossils of ''Incisivosaurus'' and ''Mei'' have not yet been found preserving soft tissues, unlike the other dinosaurs listed here. Nonetheless, being maniraptors, they almost certainly had feathers. Also, ''Microraptor'' is in fact known from a younger formation than the other dinosaurs mentioned here. Finally, some think that ''Incisivosaurus'' (known only from a skull) may be the same as ''Protarcharopteryx'' (known from a skeleton with a badly damaged skull.[[/note]] In “Dino-Birds”, Nigel Marven makes a TimeTravel to the Cretaceous China to save some ''Microraptor''s from extinction; before ending the mission, he encounters several ''Mei'' (referred to by their whole scientific name: ''Mei long'') apparently sleeping in the same bird-like position in which the type specimen was found fossilized (they were actually dead), while the other ''Mei long'' act as the “danger of the forest”, and to fit their fearsome better role, are [[RuleOfCool oversized]] [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology and lack feathers]].



'''Four-winged dinosaur:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microraptor Microraptor]]''

Discovered in 2000, ''Microraptor'' is another Liaoning coelurosaur, named “small thief”; as the "-raptor" suffix suggests, it was a dromaeosaurid. It was a find that strongly surprised not only casual paleo-fans but also the entire paleontologist community. And not because it was a feathered dino fossil (such animals were already known from the same site); nor just because it was the smallest non-avian dinosaur known at that point (merely 1.5ft long, but this record is contended now by other non-avian maniraptors). It was its unique body-plan that astonished us all. A ''four-winged dinosaur''!

More precisely, its hindlimbs had a feather-covering incredibly similar to that of its forelimbs, giving it its unbelievable appearance.These wings had the same structure as the wings of true birds, with asymmetrical, vane-like feathers on the forelimbs, likewise on the hindlimbs, and placed in a "fan" at the tip of its long tail: in short, very similar to the kind of plumage of the well-known ''Archaeopteryx'' (itself recently found to have had remnants of such large feathers on its legs).

Of course, paleontologists and dino-fans have begun WildMassGuessing about its way of life. Since its discovery, ''Microraptor'' has been suggested to have been a tree-climber, with forelimbs as developed as the hindlimbs, both fitted with robust claws apt for climbing upright tree-trunks; however, [[http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0022292 a study]] published in 2011 suggests it might have been terrestrial instead. The way it traversed the air is also controversial; with true flight like modern birds, or just simple gliding like modern “flying” squirrels, “flying” fish and “flying” lizards? Currently many scientists think ''Microraptor'' was actually a flier (although not as good as modern birds): not only that, it seemed to be ''even better adapted'' for flight than ''Archaeopteryx''. If this is true, it would mean that flight evolved ''before'' the appearance of the so-called “first-bird”, because ''Microraptor'' was less close to modern birds than ''Archaeopteryx'' was. And since flight was achieved in basal dromaeosaurids, this would mean that… yes, ''Velociraptor'' and all other dromaeosaurids may have descended from ''flying'' ancestors! One scientist did go UpToEleven declaring that ''all'' maniraptorans descended from flying ancestors: this would mean, ''Troodon'', ''Oviraptor'', and even the huge ''Therizinosaurus'' were ancestrally '''[[GiantFlyer creatures of the air]]''', which, like ostriches or rheas, returned to a more ground-level way of life and increased their size.

Whatever the case was in RealLife, ''Microraptor'' immediately became the center of much interest soon after the year 2000, becoming rapidly popular in illustrated books (also because was the considered the smallest dinosaur at the time); it became even more widely-known after being portrayed as one of the main animal characters in the aforementioned ''PrehistoricPark'' (where it was portrayed with the classic, splayed-limbs gliding style, now known to be anatomically impossible). Soon afterwards, it started to gain attention by the broader pop-cultural world, and it could at this point be qualified as a true [[StockDinosaurs Stock Dinosaur]] (even if only in the Rarely-Seen section).

Over the years, several interesting specimens of this dinosaur have been found. One of these was originally named ''Cryptovolans'' ("hidden flyer") in 2002 and thought to be different from ''Microraptor'' due to a few seemingly unique features (a longer tail, for example). Further work showed that they are all present in ''Microraptor'', and so "''Cryptovolans''" fell into disuse. A specimen announced in 2011 provides a clue to its diet: this one seems to preserve the remains of an enantiornithine bird in its stomach. A specimen published in 2013 shows it ate fish. As remarkable as those stories are, they don't come even close to a 2012 study carried out on one specimen. This study showed that its feathers were likely iridescent in color, troubling a previous suggestion it was nocturnal.

to:

'''Four-winged dinosaur:''' ''[[http://en.'''Cross between Archaeopteryx and Velociraptor?''' the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microraptor Microraptor]]''

Discovered in 2000,
org/wiki/Archaeoraptor Archaeoraptor]]" fake


We've already talked about
''Microraptor'' is another Liaoning coelurosaur, named “small thief”; as the "-raptor" suffix suggests, it was a dromaeosaurid. It was a find that strongly surprised not only casual paleo-fans but also the entire paleontologist community. And not because it was a feathered dino fossil (such animals were already known from the same site); nor just because it was the smallest non-avian dinosaur known at that point (merely 1.5ft long, but this record is contended now by other non-avian maniraptors). It was its unique body-plan that astonished us all. A ''four-winged dinosaur''!

More precisely, its hindlimbs had a feather-covering incredibly similar to that of its forelimbs, giving it its unbelievable appearance.These wings had the same structure as the wings of true birds, with asymmetrical, vane-like feathers on the forelimbs, likewise on the hindlimbs, and placed in a "fan" at the tip of its long tail: in short, very similar to the kind of plumage of the well-known ''Archaeopteryx'' (itself recently found to have had remnants of such large feathers on its legs).

Of course, paleontologists and dino-fans have begun WildMassGuessing about its way of life. Since its discovery, ''Microraptor'' has been suggested to have been a tree-climber, with forelimbs as developed as the hindlimbs, both fitted with robust claws apt for climbing upright tree-trunks; however, [[http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0022292 a study]] published in 2011 suggests it might have been terrestrial instead. The way it traversed the air is also controversial; with true flight like modern birds, or just simple gliding like modern “flying” squirrels, “flying” fish and “flying” lizards? Currently many scientists think ''Microraptor'' was actually a flier (although not as good as modern birds): not only that, it seemed to be ''even better adapted'' for flight than ''Archaeopteryx''. If this is true, it would mean that flight evolved ''before'' the appearance of the so-called “first-bird”, because ''Microraptor'' was less close to modern birds than ''Archaeopteryx'' was. And since flight was achieved in basal dromaeosaurids, this would mean that… yes, ''Velociraptor'' and all other dromaeosaurids may have descended from ''flying'' ancestors! One scientist did go UpToEleven declaring that ''all'' maniraptorans descended from flying ancestors: this would mean, ''Troodon'', ''Oviraptor'', and even the huge ''Therizinosaurus'' were ancestrally '''[[GiantFlyer creatures of the air]]''', which, like ostriches or rheas, returned to a more ground-level way of life and increased their size.

Whatever the case was in RealLife, ''Microraptor'' immediately became the center of much interest soon after the year 2000, becoming rapidly popular in illustrated books (also because was the considered the smallest dinosaur at the time); it became even more widely-known after being portrayed as one of the main animal characters
in the aforementioned ''PrehistoricPark'' (where it was portrayed with the classic, splayed-limbs gliding style, now known to be anatomically impossible). Soon afterwards, it started to gain attention by the broader pop-cultural world, and it could at this point be qualified as a true [[StockDinosaurs Stock Dinosaur]] (even if only in the Rarely-Seen section).

Dinosaurs page; here we can add some other informations about it. Over the years, several interesting specimens of this dinosaur have been found. One of these was originally named ''Cryptovolans'' ("hidden flyer") in 2002 and thought to be different from ''Microraptor'' due to a few seemingly unique features (a longer tail, for example). Further work showed that they are all present in ''Microraptor'', and so "''Cryptovolans''" fell into disuse. A specimen announced in 2011 provides a clue to its diet: this one seems to preserve the remains of an enantiornithine bird in its stomach. A specimen published in 2013 shows it ate fish. As remarkable as those stories are, they don't come even close to a 2012 study carried out on one specimen. This study showed that its feathers were likely iridescent in color, troubling a previous suggestion it was nocturnal.
19th Jun '15 11:53:34 AM Spinosegnosaurus77
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But other “new” dromaeosaurids have turned out to be smaller, more specialized animals often with some tree-climbing adaptations. Because of their apparently non-raptor-like nature, some of them were not even initially thought to be dromaeosaurs: this explains why they haven’t got the suffix –raptor. The tiny ''Rahonavis'' from Madagascar was initially thought to be some sort of ''bird'' (which it might actually be). The same about ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unenlagia Unenlagia]]'', the first dromaeosaurid discovered in South America. [[note]]Better, the first one recognized as such: ''Unquillosaurus'' has been known since 1979 from a pelvis which, oddily, was initially believed from a huge carnosaur![[/note]] While ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperonychus Hesperonychus]]'' (whose name is clearly inspired from "''Deinonychus''") was found only in 2009 and briefly considered the smallest North American dinosaur. Perhaps the most specialized known dromaeosaurid today is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balaur_(dinosaur) Balaur]]'': found in 2010 in Romania, it has uniquely ''two'' sickle-claws on each foot. Another non-raptor-looking dromaeosaur found in 2000 (in spite of being a climbing kind it ends in –raptor nonetheless), is now one of the most portrayed bird-like dinosaurs: obviously, we’re talking about ''Microraptor''. See also the “Liaoning Coelurosaurs” entry below.

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But other “new” dromaeosaurids have turned out to be smaller, more specialized animals often with some tree-climbing adaptations. Because of their apparently non-raptor-like nature, some of them were not even initially thought to be dromaeosaurs: this explains why they haven’t got the suffix –raptor. The tiny ''Rahonavis'' from Madagascar was initially thought to be some sort of ''bird'' (which it might actually be). The same about ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unenlagia Unenlagia]]'', the first dromaeosaurid discovered in South America. [[note]]Better, the first one recognized as such: ''Unquillosaurus'' has been known since 1979 from a pelvis which, oddily, was initially believed from a huge carnosaur![[/note]] While ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperonychus Hesperonychus]]'' (whose name is clearly inspired from "''Deinonychus''") was found only in 2009 and briefly considered the smallest North American dinosaur. Perhaps the most specialized known dromaeosaurid today is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balaur_(dinosaur) Balaur]]'': found in 2010 in Romania, it has uniquely ''two'' sickle-claws on each foot. Another non-raptor-looking An avian-looking dromaeosaur found in 2000 (in spite of being a climbing kind it ends in –raptor nonetheless), is now one of the most portrayed bird-like dinosaurs: obviously, we’re talking about ''Microraptor''. See also the “Liaoning Coelurosaurs” entry below.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.PrehistoricLifeBirdlikeTheropods