The feathered dinosaurs and birds Discovering Chinese “Solnhfen”
ecentiy, numerous specimens of dinosaurs and birdsvwith exceptionally preserved feather and featherlike structures were discovered in the Early Cretaceous deposits ( Sereno et al., 1990, Huo et al., 1993, Ji et al., 1996, Chen et al., 1998, and Xu et al., 1997 ) of the Jehol Group in the western part of Liaoning Province. animatronic dinosaur supplier The Jehol Group deposits are widely distributed in North-eastern China. This place has become famous as a unique source of abundant and exceptionally preserved remains of evertebrates, fish, amphibians, lizards’, pterosaurs, birds, dinosaurs, and mammals. Among there, the fossils of basal birds and feathered dinosaurs are of particular interest of both scientific and popular media. We might refer this fossil area to as Chinese “Solnhofen” .
The fossils of feathered dinosaurs and basal birds were discovered by farmers from the Sihetun area in Beipiao County, Liaoning Province. Most of the findings have been unearthed in a thick sequence of lacustrine sediments inter-bedded with volcanic ashes of the Yixian and Juifotang Formations of the Jehol Group.
The first feathered dinosaur was collected by a farmer in the summer of 1995. The slab with the fossil inside was split into two mirror parts and sold to two different institutions. One of these was studied by Dr. Ji Qiang and his colleagues of the Beijing Geological Museum named the fossil as Sinosauropteryx prima. Dr. Ji assumed that Sinosauropteryx was a most primitive bird. The other part of Sinosaurpoteryx, stored in the collection of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, was identified as a coelurosaurian dinosaur by Chen and his colleagues in 1998. Sinosauropteryx may have been a close relative of Compsognathus from the Late Jurassic of Europe.