Eosinopteryx brevipenna is small (less than a foot long), feathered, and flightless. It’s basically the smaller, dinosaur version of a penguin. Probably 0% scientifically accurate, but you know what? I don’t care. I want to live in a world where there was once a dinosaur penguin. Let me have this.
The dino was found in northeastern China, where it lived during the Jurassic period [short mental break for the Jurassic Park themesong… OK, back online]. It had a small snout and tail, and its small wingspan and bone structure indicate that, while it would have been a good runner, it “likely couldn’t whip up enough of a wing-beat to fly.” In this artist’s reconstruction it looks so grumpy about it, too. Grumpy and cute and kind of fluffy but also like it’d claw your face off if you tried to snuggle it.
It’s official. I have a new favorite dinosaur.
Said paleontologist Gareth Dyke in a statement on the new dino:
“This discovery sheds further doubt on the theory that the famous fossil Archaeopteryx — or ‘first bird’ as it is sometimes referred to — was pivotal in the evolution of modern birds. Our findings suggest that the origin of flight was much more complex than previously thought.”
Someone call Dr. Grant. I’m sure he has an opinion on this.