Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Theropoda
Family Scansoriopterygidae
Genus Epidexipteryx
1st Species Epidexipteryx hui
Other attributes
Time Range 168-160 mya
Location China
Name Meaning Display feather
Physical Dimensions 44.5 centimeters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Epidexipteryx is a scansoriopterygid theropod dinosaur from the Middle-Late Jurassic of China. It was named in 2008 by Zhang Fucheng. It was one of the most unique dinosaurs, as it had a unique build and integuement.


Epidexipteryx was a unique theropod. It was a small, bipedal saurischian with a small body, a short tail, long arms with 3 fingers (of differing lengths), and a large head with mid-sized jaws. Most of its body (excluding some of its legs and all of its snout) would have been covered in long, vaned feathers, with some extremely long, strap-like feathers protruding from its tail.


Epidexipteryx was a predator, preying on insects. The only teeth it had were in the front of its mouth, and protruded from its jaws; this would allow it to get a hold of struggling prey.


Epidexipteryx had one of the most unique ecologies of any theropod. It had a uniquely beak-shaped mouth, as well as a downwards-curving lower jaw that moved away from the upper jaw, indicating that it might have been the ancestor of even more bird-like dinosaurs such as Oviraptor; as well as this, its lower jaw had huge front teeth and smaller back teeth, which might have allowed for a special prey capture method. Unlike those of other bird-like dinosaurs, the longest feathers on Epidexipteryx were not on its wings, but rather, they were on its tail; these feathers were only for display. Nevertheless, there is a chance that Epidexipteryx may have been capable of gliding from tree to tree, with the help of large membranes of skin stretching from its fingers all the way to the sides of its body; another, closely related theropod, Yi, had those membranes, and was capable of gliding as well.

In popular cultureEdit

Epidexipteryx was featured in the 2nd episode of the 2011 documentary Planet Dinosaur, where it was shown as an arboreal animal that used its long fingers to pry beetle larva out of trees; as well as this, one individual gets its food stolen by a larger Epidexipteryx, and the two start fighting by assuming intimidating postures. Eventually, the smaller scansoriopterygid accidentally drops another larva onto the ground, only for another one to steal it; in turn, the food-stealer gets eaten by a sub-adult Sinraptor.

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