Sinornithosaurus. Click to enlarge image
Sinornithosaurus. Based on fossils from China, Early Cretaceous, 130 - 125 million years ago. Image: James Reece
© Australian Museum

Sinornithosaurus was one of the first dinosaurs discovered with feathers. It lived during the Early Cretaceous, 130–125 million years ago. Its name is derived from the Greek, ‘chinese bird-lizard’, and is pronounced: SINE-or-nith-oh-SAWR-us.

Feeding and diet

Sinornithosaurus was an active and agile carnivorous species that probably hunted in groups.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Sinornithosaurus was probably adapted for leaping. Its rigid tail acted as a counterbalance, allowing pinpoint accuracy and freeing the powerful feet claws. Whether this helped in attacking prey or leaping among tree branches is difficult to say.