Dinosaur website covering UK Dinosaur types and general popular dinosaur topics plus original dinosaur artwork

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To date, five non-avian feathered dinosaurs have been discovered. They represent animals from three species: Therizinosaurs, Oviraptorosaurs and Deinonychosaurs.

"Chinese Lizard Wing"
Fur-coated Coelurosaur

Neck Fluff


Discovered in 1996, this was the first dinosaur specimen to be found that shows traces of downy plumage. The animal has a fur-like covering running along its spine. Most significantly it is also the least bird-like dinosaur to have traces of proto-feathers, indicating that this integument originated long before flight.

Ornitholestids, coelurids, ornithomimosaurs, troodontids, and even tyrannosaurs appear to be more closely related to birds than sinosauropteryx was, meaning they were all probably feathered too.

"First Ancient Wing"
Feathered Coelurosaur

This poorly known specimen is thought by some to be a bird however the structure of its arms and feathers indicate it could not fly. Others are certain its a primitive maniraptor dinosaur. It has clearly developed feathers.

"Tail Feather"
Feathered Oviraptorosaur


Tail Feather

This dinosaur has the most bird-like feathers yet discovered. They are prominent on its hands and on the tip of its tail. It would appear that Caudipteryx feathers even posessed the hooks which keeps the "wing" integrity that is vital for flight, even though this animal could never have flown. It is also one of several dinosaur types which has evolved a beak. 

"Beipiao Lizard"
Feathered Therizinosaur

The forth non-avian feathered dinosaur to be discovered. It had an integument similar to sinosauropteryx but longer - 5cm on average, up to 7cm with branched structures at the end.

"Chinese Bird Lizard"
Feathered Deinonychosaur


Sinornithosaurus Fossil

This animal was the first proof that Deinonychosaurs had feathers. Of all the non-avian dinosaurs found it was the most closely-related to birds and its shoulder joins have features similar to modern birds.

The fact that this animal has more flight characteristics than more advanced deinonychosaurs lends credence to the idea that some coelurosaurs are descended from flighted dinosaurs - ie birds.

Artwork and text © Gavin Rymill 2001-2006