Caudipteryx

Caudipteryx was a turkey sized ancestor of the birds from the end of the Jurassic period
Name:
Caudipteryx, meaning 'Tail Feathers'
Length:
About 1 metres (3ft)
Height:
1 metres (3ft)
Weight:
About 5g (11lb)
Range:
Fossils have been found in eastern parts of Modern China
Feeding:
Omnivore eating meat, insects, fish and vegetation
Period:
Late Jurassic and early Cretaceous about 140 million years ago
Mesozoic Era
Triassic Period Jurassic Period Cretaceous Period
Early - Middle Late Early Middle Late Early Middle Late
248 227 206 180 154 144 127 89 65
Caudipteryx

Caudipteryx was a small turkey sized saurischian (lizard hipped) dinosaur from the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous period about 140 million years ago.

It had a short stocky body, a beak with a few teeth in the top jaw and long legs that were used for fast running or wading. It was an omnivore and fossils have been found with stones in the gizzard that helped to digest food, suggesting that it swallowed it whole without chewing.

Caudipteryx lived around 140 million years ago during the end of the Jurassic and the beginning of the Cretaceous periods. It lived after the first birds had evolved and on the face of it Caudipteryx seems to be an ancestor of them. However, this is hotly debated by palaeontologists, who cannot decide if it is descended from birds or if it is a case of convergent evolution and is descended from Dinosaurs.

Caudipteryx had feathers on its arms and a fan of feathers on its tail. The feathers were short and symmetrical indicating that it wasn't capable of flight. The shortness of the arms support this conclusion.

Fossils of Caudipteryx have been found in China. The fossils included impressions of the feathers, which is rare.