Reconstructing the skull of Changyuraptor

Han et al. 2014
had a tough time tracing the skull of the bird-mimic Changyuraptor (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. DGS tracing of the skull of Changyuraptor. Gray portions added to repair broken or buried bones.

the post-cranial traits of Changyuraptor were employed to nest this bird mimic. Today a little extra effort revealed enough of the skull to make a reconstruction (Fig. 1) with gray areas added to fill out the broken, crushed and buried pieces.

Figure 1. Changyuraptor to scale with Ornitholestes, Scriurumimus and Microraptor.
Figure 2. Changyuraptor to scale with Ornitholestes, Scriurumimus and Microraptor.

Changyuraptor yangi (Han et al. 2014; Early Cretaceous) nests here between Ornitholestes and Microraptor (Fig 2) and is midway in size.

Figure 3. This cladogram for Saurornithoides also recovers the nesting of Chanyuraptor between Microlestes and the microraptors.

Han G, Chiappe LM, Ji S-A, Habib M, Turner AH, Chinsamy A, Liu X and Han L 2014. A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance. Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5382


2 thoughts on “Reconstructing the skull of Changyuraptor

    • Flapping non-volant birds have a powerful bluff tool. It freaks out predators when chickens start flapping and panicking. Plus, wings provide thrust while running, for a quick get-away, and then there’s that thing about impressing mates and rivals.

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