STL Science Center

STL Science Center

10 November 2016

You Can't Buy Popularity

Yi qi is a popular little dinosaur for a variety of reasons, though that popularity is not entirely evident outside the paleontological community. The announcement of the description was met with typical news outlet fervor, but it died quickly, perhaps even faster than many other new dinosaur announcements. Part of the excitement of the dinosaur is actually the debate that it has caused because of its unique wing structure and the uncertainty of the morphology of that wing. Being toted as a "bat-winged" helped the dinosaur to become a news item and granted it some of the popularity that it has experienced. Its popularity also made many more of its clade members more visible to the public. The name Scansoriopterygidae is still difficult to say but it is more well known now because of Yi qi.
©Matt Martyniuk

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