|Image by IVPP|
Members of the compsognathids, these were some tiny little dinosaurs, in numbers dangerous to a human sized animal for sure but a nuisance (or a ridiculously awesome pet maybe?) when they were alone. For an animal the size of a Jack Russell Terrier they had astoundingly long tails, at least the length of their body nose to hips jutting out from behind those hips. A tail that doubles your body length is clearly, if not that of a spider monkey, for balance. Sinosauropteryx is a lot like a Compsognathus really in its forma and size. I have not looked yet, but I am sure there is a theory somewhere about Sinosauropteryx being a migrated and evolved version of a Compy. As a very important find in the history of life on Earth, we will have more than a ton to talk about the rest of this week. For now, however, bask in the feathered glory of Zhao and Xing's illustration. Are they going after prey? Is it a courtship dance? A fight over territory? You decide!