Wonderful Early Cretaceous Theropod Dinosaur Illustration

Sometimes at Everything Dinosaur, we get asked fascinating questions.  For example, we were emailed this week by a fossil collector asking how many different types of feathered dinosaur were there?  That’s a question, the answer to which, as new fossil discoveries are made, keeps changing.  Since the discovery of Sinosauropteryx in 1996 and its subsequent scientific description, numerous feathered dinosaur fossil discoveries have been made.  In all likelihood, within the Theropoda alone, there were probably hundreds of different types of feathered dinosaur.

The diversity of the feathered Theropods is beautifully illustrated by this wonderful image created by Jan Sovak.

An Illustration of the Diversity of Coelurosaurian Theropods (Early Cretaceous China)

Feathered Theropod diversity (Early Cretaceous)

The diversity of feathered Theropods in northern China during the Early Cretaceous.

Picture Credit: Jan Sovak

This image depicts part of the Liaoning biota of the Early Cretaceous.  The picture illustrates a variety of different types of feathered dinosaurs, (all Coelurosaurian dinosaurs).  A pair of Sinosauropteryx (right), chase a small mammal.  Sinosauropteryx is an example of a compsognathid Theropod.  To the left, two Microraptors pursue a dragonfly.  Microraptors come from another branch of the Coelurosauria clade, the dromaeosaurids, sometimes referred to as the “raptors”.  In the background, an ornate couple of dinosaurs are displaying to each other.  They are conducting an intricate courtship display and are oblivious to what is going on around them.  This is a pair of Caudipteryx dinosaurs, complete with beautiful tail plumes.  Caudipteryx is yet another example of a type of feathered Theropod.  Caudipteryx is a member of the oviraptorosaurian group.

Our dedicated team members compiled the information required by our emailer and duly sent it off, along with some links to other articles written by Everything Dinosaur staff that illustrate some of the huge variety of different dinosaurs we listed.

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