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|Thursday, December 14, 2000, updated at 15:24(GMT+8)|
Chinese Scientists Discovered Tree-Climbing DinosaurXu Xing, Zhou Zhong and Wang Xiaolin from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), recently discovered an adult theropod, the smallest member of the dinosaur family, naming it Microraptor.
The tiny creature can not only run as fast as other theropodal dinosaurs but also be able to climb onto trees.
The discovery has added much weight to the theory that perching creature predated the origin of birds. The article was publicized on December 7 by an English journal "Nature".
Classified into the fast-running family, the Microraptor is a bipedal dinosaurs, totaling only 40 cm long, which so far, as believed by paleontologists in the world, to be the smallest grown-up dinosaur ever existed on earth.
Scientific scrutiny revealed that the Microraptor is in its form the most similar creature to birds and probably used to perch on trees.
The discovery has really helped a lot to fill up the gap between birds and dinosaurs. Before this significant finding, many scientists abroad had been thinking that birds were evolved from theropodal dinosaurs perching on tress but short of sound grounds.
Now, we have to reconsider that the life of the small theropodal dinosaurs is far more complicated than what we used to think of, and needs to be reviewed.
Almost at the same time, the American journal "Science" unleashed another new finding about the evolution of plumes by Zhang Fucheng and Zhou Zhouhe, also the scientists from CAS.
In the fossil they discovered a new pattern of feather never known to us before, which is thought to be of the most primitive bird, Archaeopteryx. This has provided us more evidence to the evolution of plume in its early days.
By PD Online Staff Yin Zhili
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