Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rare find: Feathered dinosaur feasted on flying food

Date:
August 29, 2012
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Researchers found evidence that a feathered, but flightless dinosaur was able to snag and consume small flying dinosaurs.

Holotype of Sinocalliopteryx gigas.
Credit: Xing et al., Abdominal Contents from Two Large Early Cretaceous Compsognathids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) Demonstrate Feeding on Confuciusornithids and Dromaeosaurids. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e44012 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044012

University of Alberta researchers found evidence that a feathered, but flightless dinosaur was able to snag and consume small flying dinosaurs.

The U of A paleontology team found the fossilized remains of three flying dinosaurs in the belly of a raptor-like predator called Sinocalliopteryx. Sinocalliopteryx was about two meters in length and roughly the size of a modern-day wolf.

Sinocalliopteryx's flying meals were three Confuciusornis. Confuciusornis was one of the earliest birds and had a crude version of a modern bird's skeleton and muscles. The researchers say such primitive birds were probably limited to slow take-offs and short flights.

According to the researchers, this is the first time a predator has been linked to the killing of multiple flying dinosaurs.

Scott Persons, a U of A paleontology student and research coauthor, says Sinocalliopteryx may have used stealth to stalk the flyers. "Sinocalliopteryx didn't have wings or the physical tools needed to be an adept tree climber," said Persons.

Persons explains Sinocalliopteryx had feathers or hair-like fuzz covering its body creating a level of insulation that helped maintain a warm body temperature and high metabolism that required a lot of food to fuel.

"The fact that this Sinocalliopteryx had, not one, but three undigested birds in its stomach indicate it was a voracious eater and a very active hunter," said Persons.

This find was made in China's Liaoning province, and U of A researchers analyzed stomach contents of a second Sinocalliopteryx fossil discovery from that area. The researchers identified this Sinocalliopteryx's last meal as a Sinornithosaurus, a small feathered meat-eater about the size of a house cat that may have been able to fly or glide short distances.

"Sinornithosaurus is a relative of Velociraptor which means this is the first direct evidence of a raptor becoming another predatory dinosaur's meal," said Persons.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lida Xing, Phil R. Bell, W. Scott Persons, Shuan Ji, Tetsuto Miyashita, Michael E. Burns, Qiang Ji, Philip J. Currie. Abdominal Contents from Two Large Early Cretaceous Compsognathids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) Demonstrate Feeding on Confuciusornithids and Dromaeosaurids. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e44012 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044012

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Rare find: Feathered dinosaur feasted on flying food." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829171943.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2012, August 29). Rare find: Feathered dinosaur feasted on flying food. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829171943.htm
University of Alberta. "Rare find: Feathered dinosaur feasted on flying food." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120829171943.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dinosaur With Mysteriously Large Nose Discovered In Utah

Dinosaur With Mysteriously Large Nose Discovered In Utah

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Rhinorex condrupus had a nose so big it was dubbed "King Nose," but scientists aren't sure what purpose it served. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic 'Easy Rider' Chopper Bike to Go on Auction Block

Iconic 'Easy Rider' Chopper Bike to Go on Auction Block

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) The iconic Harley-Davidson motorbike ridden by Peter Fonda in the 1969 classic "Easy Rider" is to go under the hammer in California, and auctioneers predict it will make at least $1 million. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins