STL Science Center

STL Science Center

13 March 2014

The Popular Crowd

Jinfengopteryx is neither well known or uniquely popular. Even the supposed Chinese mythology surrounding it, Jinfeng is a derivative of the name of the "Golden Phoenix" that is queen of all birds, turns out zero online hits. There could be any number of reasons for this, but for a namesake to turn out absolutely zero hits is pretty novel. Books, other than the field guide mentioned earlier in the week, and movies leave Jinfengopteryx out in the cold. No toys exist and very few pages online hint at its existence. The birdlike qualities of Jinfengopteryx have been debated and the dinosaurlike qualities have been counter-debated (though we can fairly confidently say that we can agree this is a very birdlike dinosaur). Regardless, this is an interesting fossil animal and we can probably all agree that it is somewhere, family-wise, in limbo; however, it deserves more recognition than it has currently garnered and hopefully, in the future, we can revisit it and see that is much more widely known and studied. We can also hope for another specimen to be found, but hoping can be pretty bleak sometimes in paleontology, so don't be upset if it takes a while to find a second specimen!

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