May. 10th, 2014

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Jinfengopteryx is a troodontid, though when it was first discovered it was considered a bird and a relative of Archaeopteryx. Troodontids have an unusual feature shared only with owls and no other known animal - their ears are asymmetrical, with one ear higher on the skull than the other. This allows for a much easier time pinpointing the location of something the animal hears, and this, plus the large eyes in this family, suggest that troodontids, like owls, may have been nocturnal or crepuscular predators - although the most complete Jinfengopteryx skeleton had seeds in its digestive tract, and based on tooth shape, it and other troodontids may have been omnivorous.

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Lauren Helton

September 2014

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