Sinocalliopteryx ‭(‬Giant Chinese beautiful feather‭)

Short Info

Sinocalliopteryx ‭(‬Giant Chinese beautiful feather‭)

Phonetic : Sigh-no-cal-ee-op-ter-ix

Named By : Ji,‭ ‬S.,‭ ‬Ji,‭ ‬Q.,‭ ‬Lu J.,‭ & ‬Yuan,‭ ‬C‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007

Diet : Carnivore

Size : Estimated 2.37‭ meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Small Theropod

Type Species : S.‭ ‬gigas‭ (‬type‭)‬

Found in : China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Yixian Formation

When it Lived : Early Cretaceous, 125 million years ago

Sinocalliopteryx (meaning “Chinese Beautiful Feath’) is a genus of carnivorous compsognathid dinosaurs of the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of China (Jianshangou Beds ), which date back to 124.6 Ma).


Holotype of Sinocalliopteryx gigasLida Xing, Phil R. Bell, W. Scott Persons IV, Shuan Ji, Tetsuto Miyashita, Michael E. Burns, Qiang Ji, Philip J. Currie, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons


Although it was similar to the closely related Huaxiagnathus Sinocalliopteryx had a larger size. The original specimen, which measured 2.37 meters (7.78 feet) in length in 2007, was the largest specimen of a compsognathid. In 2012, a larger specimen was identified.

The species that is known as the “type” Sinocalliopteryx gigas was first named and identified on the 7th of July 2007 by Ji Shu’an, Ji Qiang, Lu Junchang and Yuan Chongxi. The name of the species is derived by Sinae, Latin for the Chinese and Greek Kalos, which means “beautiful”, and pterux or pteryx “feather”. The huge dimension in the “giant compsognathid” lent Sinocalliopteryx its name, gigas, which means “giant”..

The holotype JMP-V-05-8-01 was found at Hengdaozi in Sihetun located situated in Liaoning Province, from the Jianshangou Beds of the Yixian Formation dating from the Barremian-Aptian period which is 130 millennia old. It is comprised of a complete skull, compacted on a single plate from an adult. The extensive protofeathers remains were preserved. In 2012, a different specimen was discovered, the CAGS-IG-1 A person who was bigger than the Holotype. The skull was 10% bigger, the feet were about three times as long, an effect that was explained by positive allometry. The specimen is comprised of a fragmented skull hand, tail feet, ribcage and hands. It has filaments on its tail.

Sinocalliopteryx was an animal predator that was bipedal. The length preserved by the holotype specimen measures 237 centimetres. The weight of the specimen was calculated by Gregory S. Paul in 2010 at 20 kilograms. Sinocalliopteryx is distinct from Huaxiagnathus as well as other compsognathids due to its comparatively long hands relative the arms. The hindlimbs and arms were also larger overall as compared to other compsognathids which could be due to its size.

Sinocalliopteryx has an elongated head and a pointed, snout having a convex upper shape. Four teeth were present inside the premaxilla, which were tiny however, they had denticles along its front edge. Six larger teeth were found within the maxilla in the specimen of the Holotype, but the amount of its tooth places could not be accurately established. The specimen CAGS-IG-1 has 10 maxillary sockets, with space for two or three in areas that are damaged. The jugal was an extremely constructed element, with a forward branch rising high that was an element of the part of the socket. The lower jaw did not have an opening on its outside side.

The vertebral column comprised eleven cervical twelve dorsal, five sacral and at most forty-nine vertebrae caudal. The tail’s point is not present. The tail has spines and chevrons are strongly were inclined towards the rear. The gastralia was very shorter long lateral segments.

The arm was short in its humerus. The lower arm was small and elegant with an elegant ulna showing only a small Olecranon-like process at its upper portion. The hand was extremely extended, but not to the extent of the ulna and the upper arm joined. Second metacarpals were extended towards the top end of the primary metacarpal making the whole metacarpus more compact. Its second claw became extended to the same length than the thumb. Third metacarpals were small and was able to carry an extremely thin, third finger.

In the pelvis, there was a small notch on the front of the ilium. The extremely long shaft of ischium was curved downwards. The hindlimb was extended due to the length of the lower leg, comprising 90 percent in the length of the thighbone. The foot was also lengthy particularly at the metatarsus.

Like other theropods in the Yixian Formation, Sinocalliopteryx was preserved by “protofeathers,” simple filamentous integument (hairlike structures that cover the skin) that are identical to the one present in Sinosauropteryx. The integumentary structures of Sinocalliopteryx differs in length throughout the body with the longest protofeathers covering hips, the base of the tail and the back of the legs. These protofeathers were the longest, measuring as long as ten centimeters (4 in) in length. Protofeathers also were found in the metatarsus (upper part of the foot). Although they were not as long or as modern like the feathers found on “four-winged” dinosaurs such as Microraptor and Pedopenna However, they do show that foot-feathers, or similar structures first appeared in dinosaurs that were more basic as well as “primitive” than previously known.

Source: Wikipedia