Four-winged dinosaur found in China

Four-winged dinosaurA new four-winged dinosaur has been discovered, with exceptionally long feathers on its tail and “hindwings”.

Changyuraptor yangi was a gliding predator which lived in the Cretaceous period in what is now Liaoning, China.

Its remarkable tail feathers – measuring up to 30cm – are the longest in any non-avian dinosaur.

This unusual plumage helped the creature to slow down during flight and land safely.

C. yangi is a new species of microraptorine, a group related to early avians.

These ancient creatures offer clues to the origin of flight – and the transition from feathered dinosaurs to birds.

Palaeontologists once thought that four-winged gliders were a stepping stone in the path to two-winged flight.

But recent fossil discoveries suggest that microraptorines were an evolutionary side-branch.

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