Dinosaurs are known to be furious creatures haunting the earth for several decades. All we know about the dinosaurs is through astounding discoveries made by scientists. Every now and then a new find expands our knowledge about these fearsome animals.
Recently scientists have reported the fossils of feathered dinosaurs with capability to fly. The breakthrough occurred in Liaoning province in northeast China – a place already famous for best preserved fossil dinosaurs in the world.
The new species name “Changyuraptor yangi” had four wings including the hind limbs which were donned into foot long feathers (also called hindwings). The winged dinosaur itself was four feet in size and weighted about nine pounds – app. three times the size of a seagull.
The dinosaurs lacked in size but the short coming covered up with its massive wings for flight. The key to flying was its tail feathers which were about 30 cm long. These feathers made up 30% of the skeleton; the longest known feathers for any non-avian dinosaurs.
The quad-winged dinosaurs were fast fliers enough to crash while landing. The species are accounted to have used the tail feathers to slow down during descent and make a safe landing. It is similar to how an airplane lands.
The scientists believe that the species flapped its wings during take-off but a debate is still under way whether the species had glided or flapped the wings in the blue skies.
The new discovery has paved way to the early evolution of flight performance of species with substantial size. The scientists have published their findings in Nature Communications.