Zhenyuanlong suni, named by Lü and Brusatte in a paper published in the academic journal “Scientific Reports” back in 2015, is one of the larger of the dromaeosaurids described to date from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province. It is known from a single specimen (see below), which is almost complete, just a few elements including the distal portion of the tail are missing. The exact size of this theropod dinosaur is not known, as the single specimen could represent a sub-adult.
Not much is known about the fossil’s provenance as the mudstone specimen may have been unlawfully removed from a bedding plane in Jianchang County (Yixian Formation). Palaeontologists estimate that when fully grown this dromaeosaurid measured around 1.6 metres in length. The nomenclature honours Mr Zhenyuan Sun who helped secure the fossil specimen for scientific analysis.
The Holotype Fossil of Zhenyuanlong suni
Picture Credit: Chinese Academy of Geological Science
Everything Dinosaur’s Scale Drawing of Zhenyuanlong suni
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
To read an article about estimating the size of Yixian Formation dromaeosaurids: Updating the Winged Dragon Zhenyuanlong.