This Is Changyuraptor yangi, The Largest Known Four-Winged Dinosaur

This Is Changyuraptor yangi, The Largest Known Four-Winged Dinosaur



Measuring almost four feet long, the 125 million-year-old Changyuraptor yangi was recently discovered by researchers in China. The creature is the largest four-winged dinosaur known. Paleo artist Emily Willoughby, after working with the team that found the fossil, has created the above image of Changyuraptor yangi.

According to Willoughby,

Changyuraptor yangi is a newly-described microraptorine dromaeosaur dinosaur from the early Cretaceous (Yixian formation) of Liaoning, China.

The animal would have been around 4 feet long in life, and its fossil shows that it was covered in feathers — including, as in its smaller cousin Microraptor, a pair of “leg wings” represented by long paired pennaceous feathers on the metatarsals and tibiotarsus. One of Changyuraptor’s most unique features is its voluminous tail feathers, and these feathers constitute the longest of any known non-avian dinosaur, with the most distal retrices reaching around 30 cm in length.

Changyuraptor is also by far the largest “four-winged” dinosaur known, and while this might not be as big of a deal as it sounds (given that there aren’t very many “four-winged” dinosaurs), it does show that small size wasn’t necessarily the gatekeeper to certain volant adaptations.