Quick poll: how many of you have heard of Archaeopteryx
, and how many of you have heard of Sinosauropteryx? You can put down your hands: Archaeopteryx may be famous as the first feathered proto-bird, but Sinosauropteryx, which lived about 20 million years later, was the genus that made feathered dinosaurs
a household phrase. The discovery of this toddler-sized theropod in China's Liaoning
fossil beds caused a worldwide sensation, but Sinosauropteryx has since been eclipsed by even better-preserved tufted dinos.