Type Species:

Dilong paradoxus

Location: Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, China

Age: Early Cretaceous

Dilong or "imperial dragon" is an early representative of the tyrannosaurs and also the first of this group discovered with feathers. Its remains were found in the Yixian Formation in Liaoning Province, China: the same location that yielded most of China's feathered dinosaurs. It grew about 1.5 meters long. From a fossilized tail segment, evidence shows long filaments like primitive feathers. This suggests that other tyrannosaurs may have been feathered, though the larger ones would have lost this plumage as adults. Overall the skeleton is partially intact, but bears not only the feathers but the complete skull as well.

Even though it is related to Tyrannosaurus, the joints in its jaw and long three-fingered hands show a more primitive tyrannosaur. And excluding the pelvises named Stokesaurus and Aviatyrannus and the discovery of Guanlong years later, Dilong was the oldest known tyrannosaur.