|Scientific name||Epidexipteryx hui|
|Creature type||Theropod Dinosaur|
Epidexipteryx is a small recently theropod dinosaur as big as a house sparrow.
A flock of Epidexipteryx came through an anomaly at Emberton Park. One of them killed and ate a little toddler where the ARC team were called in to help. Then a flock of them came down from a tree and started attacking and chasing the team back to the car. The team came back with net guns to catch all of the Epidexipteryx and transport them safely back through the anomaly. (Episode 1.9)
For many reasons Epidexipteryx is a remarkable little dinosaur. A single, well preserved, pigeon-sized skeleton was found in China's fossil-rich Daohugou area and revealed to the world in 2008. Epidexipteryx had four long ribbon-like display feathers on its tail, almost certainly used to attract a mate or threaten an enemy. Being covered in short, simple body feathers to keep warm Epidexipteryx lacked the flight feathers seen in other bird-like dinosaurs. This strongly suggests that feathers were used for ornamentation long before flight. Epidexipteryx lived between 152 and 168 million years ago, in the mid to late Jurassic Period. Many of its other features suggest a life in the trees hunting insects, safely away from hungry predators on the ground.
Recent coelurosaurian discoveries have greatly enriched our knowledge of the transition from dinosaurs to birds, but all reported taxa close to this transition are from relatively well known coelurosaurian groups. Here we report a new basal avialan, Epidexipteryx hui gen. et sp. nov., from the Middle to Late Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, China. This new species is characterized by an unexpected combination of characters seen in several different theropod groups, particularly the Oviraptorosauria. Phylogenetic analysis shows it to be the sister taxon to Epidendrosaurus, forming a new clade at the base of Avialae. Epidexipteryx also possesses two pairs of elongate ribbon-like tail feathers, and its limbs lack contour feathers for flight. This finding shows that a member of the avialan lineage experimented with integumentary ornamentation as early as the Middle to Late Jurassic, and provides further evidence relating to this aspect of the transition from non-avian theropods to birds.