Feathery Fossil Gives Flying Dinosaurs a Size Boost
Early last week, in the pages of PNAS, paleontologist Dan Ksepka unveiled one of the largest dinosaurs ever to fly. With a 21 foot wingspan, the 25 million year old Pelagornis sandersi was a pseudotoothed, albatross-like bird that would dwarf any avian in the skies today, and even gives the previous record holder – the heftier Argentavis magnificens – some close competition. And now, in a case of fossil coincidence, paleontologists have announced a much, much older dinosaur that sets the size record for some the very earliest feathery fliers.
Named Changyuraptor yangi, this 125 million year old dinosaur was not a bird. But it was close. Described by