During a family visit to Hong Kong during the summer of 2007, we managed a visit to the Hong Kong Science Museum which was then featuring the show, “Soaring Dinosaurs”. This show featured many of the feathered dinosaurs that are believed to be the precursors of birds. I’ll intersperse my evolution articles with some of the images that I have taken at this show.
“First Chinese Dragon Feather”, Sinosauropteryx prima, the first known feathered theropod dinosaur.
First described by Dr Qiang Ji and Dr Shuan Ji in 1996, this dinosaur was found by a farmer in the Jurassic-Cretaceous strata (121 -135 mya) in Liaoning in north-eastern China. S. prima is the earliest dinosaur to be found with evidence of short primitive feathers, which would provide some insulation but not flight capability. S. prima is not considered a direct ancestor of birds as is Archaeopteryx, but it does show that the theropods may have had a tendency to be feathered.