Pedopenna (Greek for "feathered foot"); pronounced PED-oh-PEN-ah
Woodlands of Asia
Late Jurassic (150 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 3 feet long and 5-10 pounds
Long legs; long claws on hands; feathers
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.