The huge tail of a feathered dinosaur helped it mate, but made life very difficult

Scientists have described the remains of a feathered dinosaur that is 120 million years old. He was small in size – about the size of a blue jay, with an extremely long and extravagant tail.

Researchers have studied the fossilized remains of a bird, which are more than 120 million years old. Archaeologists have found a sample in northeastern China. The ancient bird was small in size, but it was very long – it was one and a half times the total body size. The specimen was named Yuanchuavis kompsosoura in honor of the Chinese mythical dragon Yuanchu. Translated from the Greek kompsos, it means elegant, and oura is a tail. The fossil dates back to the Mesozoic era.

Most of all scientists are interested in the tail of the bird. Researchers have found several unusual features in it – its size, a fan of short feathers at the base, and two long feathers with a solid shaft. Today, such a tail structure remains in only a small number of species, among them the bird of paradise or quetzal. Such a tail is used by individuals to attract the attention of the opposite sex.

The new species belonged to the Mesozoic Enanciornis species. It is a genus of birds of prey from the subclass of Enanciornis birds, something between non-avian dinosaurs and the ancestors of modern birds. Despite the fact that due to this appearance, males were more often attacked by predators, they were more attracted to females. Thus, the brighter and longer the tail was, the more dangerous and shorter his life was, but the more interest the male of the opposite sex aroused, allowing him to mate more often and more actively.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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