Microraptor dinosaur flying, artwork

Microraptor dinosaur flying, artwork

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This image is part of the feature Missing Links - Transitional Fossils

Credit: CHRISTIAN DARKIN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Microraptor, artwork. Microraptor is a genus of feathered dinosaurs discovered in Early Cretaceous (128-124 million-year-old) deposits in Liaoning Province, China. Microraptor belonged to the Dromaeosauridae family of dinosaurs, which includes Velociraptor. It had many similar traits to the early birds. It had long flight feathers on both its forelimbs and on its hindlimbs to form four wings. It probably used all four limbs to glide from tree to tree. It is thought that 'four-winged' flying dinosaurs such as Microraptor represent a transitionary stage in the evolution of powered flight, as seen in modern day birds.

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