Aug. 14th, 2014

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Heyuannia huangi was a late Cretaceous oviraptor from China, named for the village of Heyuan in which it was discovered. At around 10 feet long and roughly 45 pounds, it wasn't exceptionally big or small, and was probably fairly common. Although it is certainly an oviraptor, the structure of its shoulder girdles are very birdlike, and some researchers have even suggested that this may indicate that oviraptors are birds which evolved secondary flightlessness, like today's ratites - however, the general consensus among today's paleontologists is that oviraptors are pre-avian maniraptorans, much like the dromaeosaurs and troodontids.

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Lauren Helton

September 2014

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