Sinosauropteryx prima (2007)

Digital painting / photographic composite

A metre-long compsognathid dinosaur, Sinosauropteryx prima, forages for prey in a Cretaceous Chinese forest. This dinosaur is among the growing number whose remains include preserved feather-like integumentary structures, strongly suggesting their close kinship with birds. Recent results (Lingham-Soliar et al. 2007; Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 242:1823-1829), however, challenge the 'protofeather' interpretation of the filamentous structures in this species, suggesting rather that they are simply collagen fibres that have become degraded during postmortem decay of the animal.