Jinfengopteryx (Greek for "Jinfeng wing"); pronounced JIN-feng-OP-ter-ix
Plains of Asia
Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous (150-140 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About two feet long and 10 pounds
Small size; feathers
When its intact fossil (complete with the impressions of feathers) was discovered a few years ago, Jinfengopteryx was identified as a prehistoric bird, and then as an early avian pioneer comparable to Archaeopteryx; only later did paleontologists notice some marked similarities with the troodonts (a family of feathered dinosaurs epitomized by Troodon). Today, Jinfengopteryx's blunt snout and enlarged hind claws point to it having been a genuine dinosaur, albeit one well along the "bird" end of the evolutionary spectrum.