Archaeologists have unearthed the fossil of a "four-winged" dinosaur bird – indicating that feathered dinosaurs may have been able to fly before the evolution of birds.
The long tail feathers of Changyuraptor, from north-east China, would have provided the stability and speed control required for a safe landing.
At four feet long and weighing 90 pounds, the creature, which lived 125 million years ago, is the biggest dinosaur of its type yet discovered.
The well-preserved fossil shows that its body was cloaked by a full set of feathers and, in comparison with its body size, the foot-long tail feathers were unusually long.
Diplodocids, the group of long-necked, four-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs that includes the apatosaurus (not a brontosaurus), have never been found in South America until a new species was discovered in Argentina last week. Leinkupal laticauda, whose name means "vanishing family" (heartbreaking!) and "broad tail" (uh, ok), has projections on the bones of its spine that set it apart from any other known species of dinosaur. But new species, never before found in South America, whatever, who cares—one of the most interesting things about this find is that diplodocids were all believed to have died out in the Jurassic Period (you know the one), but this fossil is dated from the Cretaceous, making it the most recent diplodocid ever found.