[D] Microraptor hanqingi [Su]
Gong, Martin, Burnham, Falk & Hou 2012
Cretaceous Early Aptian
Saurischia Theropoda Tetanurae Coelurosauria Dromaeosauridae
Jiufotang Formation, Jehol Group, Liaoning, China
Microraptor zhaoianus (Xu, Zhou, Wang, 2000) > Microraptor gui (Xu, Zhou, Wang, Kuang, Zhang and Du, 2003) > Microraptor hanqingi (Gong, Martin, Burnham, Falk & Hou 2012)
Gong et al describe a new species of Microraptor from northeastern China that provides new information on the characteristics of the genus and anatomical details suggesting a gliding behaviour. Although specimens of Microraptor have been known for at least a decade, the completeness of the new fossil provides additional morphology that highlights the uniqueness of this taxon.
The new specimen, Microraptor hanqingi, is the key to understanding the evolutionary significance of hindlimb wings. A four-winged structure present on an organism sharing an evolutionary lineage leading to modern birds implies that gliding was a stage in the development of avian flight.
M. hanqingi represents the largest known microraptorian from China with a total length of approximately 1 m, and was closely-related to the venomous form, Sinornithosaurus.
Holotype LVH 0026, slab skeleton