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November 7 2012

Dragon-Like, Feathered Dinosaur Was Ace Flyer


Why would a dinosaur with a body built for running have four wings and a long, feathered tail—and how did it use them? Paleontologists have long puzzled over the dragon-like anatomy of the tiny, carnivorous dinosaur called Microraptor that hunted in the forests of China 130 million years ago.

Finally, anatomists think they've found an answer: This crow-size dromaeosaur was a master of control. Whether it was gliding or flapping through the air, its hind wings would have let it turn on a dime.

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