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Cryptovolans pauli

Cryptovolans is a small dromaeosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China. its perfectly preserved fossil shows feather impressions covering the body with primary flight feathers on the arms and the legs. It might have been capable to fly or at least to glide from tree to tree. The feathers structure is almost identical to those of modern birds. Cryptovolans is a possible junior synonym of Microraptor although it had comparatively longer tail.


Cryptovolans pauli


Czerkas, Zhang, Li and Li, 2002

Meaning of the generic name

Hidden flyer


Skull length: , Length: 1 m


Holotype (LPM 0200  or BPM 1 3-13): complete skeleton with feather impressions.
Referred specimens: LPM 0201; LPM 0159

Age and Distribution

Horizon: Jiufotang Formation, Early Cretaceous, Aptian.
Type Locality: Shangheshou, near Chaoyang, Liaoning Province, China.


Dinosauria Theropoda Coelurosauria Maniraptora Paraves Deinonychosauria Dromaeosauridae

  Further Reading

  Czerkas, S. A., Zhang, D., Li, J., and Li, Y., 2002, Flying Dromaeosaurs: In: Feathered Dinosaurs and the origin of flight, edited by Czerkas, S. J., The Dinosaur Museum Journal, v. 1, p. 97-126.
Norell, M., Ji, Q., Gao, K., Yuan, C., Zhao, Y. and Wang, L. 2002.'Modern' feathers on a non-avian dinosaur. Nature, 416: pp. 36.


Photo of the holotype (BPM 1 3-13) of Cryptovolans pauli. Top: whole specimen, bottom: detail of feathers. Scale bars are 10 cm and 50 mm. From Norell et al., 2002.