Caudipteryx Click to enlarge image
Caudipteryx. An antecedent of the modern bird. Image: James Reece
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts


Caudipteryx zoui was a dinosaur that lived about 125 million years ago and mostly ate plants. It was covered in short downy feathers and had longer feathers on its arms and tail.


Caudipteryx zoui had:

  • a short snout and few teeth and was able to eat some animals as well as plants;
  • downy feathers, covering most of its body, which probably helped it to keep warm;
  • long wing and tail feathers which it probably used for display or brooding.

Fossils description

Caudipteryx zoui was named in 1998 and was the third feathered dinosaur found in Liaoning Province. Caudipteryx means 'tail feather' referring to the tail plume that the dinosaur may have fanned out for display.

Evolutionary relationships

Caudipteryx zoui was a small, bird-like theropod called an oviraptorisaurid, a group that occurred in Asia and Australia during the Cretaceous. e dinosaur may have fanned out for display.

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