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Pedopenna (Frederik Spindler)


Pedopenna (Greek for "feathered foot"); pronounced PED-oh-PEN-ah


Woodlands of Asia

Historical Period:

Late Jurassic (150 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 3 feet long and 5-10 pounds


Probably omnivorous

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long legs; long claws on hands; feathers


About Pedopenna:

For the past 25 years or so, paleontologists have driven themselves crazy trying to figure out where the dinosaur evolutionary tree ends and the bird evolutionary tree begins. A case study in this ongoing state of confusion is Pedopenna, a tiny, birdlike theropod that was contemporary with two other famous Jurassic dino-birds, Archaeopteryx and Epidendrosaurus. Pedopenna clearly had many birdlike features, and may have been capable of climbing (or fluttering) into trees and hopping from branch to branch. Like another early dino-bird, Microraptor, Pedopenna may also have sported primitive wings on both its arms and its legs.


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