Type species: Pedopenna daohugouensis

Location: Daohugou Beds, Nei Mongol, China

Age: Late Jurassic; Callovian-Oxfordian 160 million years ago

Pedopenna is a member of a large group of bird-like dinosaurs called maniraptors and due to the fine sediment in which it was fossilized, it is the oldest feathered dinosaur known. It shows that maniraptors were present in the Jurassic long before Archaeopteryx. Its prominent feature includes long feathers on its legs and feet. Two other dinosaurs shared the same feature: the compsognathid Sinocalliopteryx and the dromaeosaurid Microraptor. Like Microraptor, Pedopenna's leg feathers were long and would have possibly been used to glide as well. With small four-winged dinosaurs with advanced feathers, it seems likely that flight evolved by small arboreal dinosaurs gliding from tree to tree.


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