STL Science Center

STL Science Center

07 March 2014

Golden Herbivorous Phoenix

©Emily Willoughby
Jinfengopteryx elegans is bucking the trend, maybe, of following predators with herbivores that we normally ascribe to here in our rotation of fossil animals. It is also another very bird-like dinosaur and a theropod. Seeds discovered in the fossil evidence provided the stirrings of the hypothesis that the diet of Jinfengopteryx was that of an herbivore. The original description also claims that Jinfengopteryx should be considered one of, if not the most, basal bird so far discovered. However, it has since been assigned to the Troodontidae, as prescribed by Louis Chiappe. Regardless of its affiliations and diet, it is another "dino-bird" that may be quite a bit more interesting than it appears on its feathery surface.

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