Dinosaur Wiki
Sinosauropteryx in true colors julius t csotonyi

Sinosauropteryx as it would appear in life

Sinosauropteryx is a coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur that lived in the Late Cretaceous of China. It is a very important dinosaur, for it was the first one found to possess feathers, and it was the first for which true color has been determined!


Sinosauropteryx was one of the smallest known of all theropods (besides birds), reaching maximum lengths of only 100 centimeters, most of this being the tail. It had other features that distinguished itself from most theropods, such as surprisingly short arms, very large fingers for those arms, and the longest tail relative to body length of any carnivorous dinosaur. All fossils have been found in the now-famous Yixian Formation.


We know a good deal about what Sinosauropteryx ate. The first specimen was found with a lizard in its stomach, suggesting a diet of small, swift prey. Another possible Sinosauropteryx was found with bones of a small mammal it had eaten. The former individual was even found with several eggs inside it, confirming an egg-laying lifestyle.


Sino fossil

The type specimen of Sinosauropteryx

When Sinosauropteryx was first discovered, the appearance of feathers caused massive controversy. Some presented it as conclusive proof that dinosaurs and birds were related. Others saw it as a hoax. Either way, the feathers cover almost all of the dinosaur's body, and vary in size.


In early 2010 this dinosaur was the first to reveal its color in life. Scientists found the fossil preserved melanosomes, the shape of which can tell you the color. They found that Sinosauropteryx had a main color of a reddish-brown, and had whitish bands along the tail.