Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Theropoda
Family Scansoriopterygidae
Genus Yi
1st Species Yi qi
Other attributes
Time Range 160 mya
Location China
Name Meaning (Strange) wing
Physical Dimensions 63 centimeters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Yi is a scansoriopterygid theropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of China. It was named in 2015 by Xu Xing and his crew. It was one of the most unique dinosaurs, as it had wings held together by a large, bony rod and large flaps of skin; as well as this, it has the shortest name out of any prehistoric animal.


Yi 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. As well as this, a long bony rod was attached to its arms (right on its wrists) and held up large flaps of skin, resulting in wings somewhat similar to those of bats and pterosaurs. Most of its body (excluding some of its legs, most of its wings, and all of its snout) would have been covered in long, vaned feathers, with some extremely long, strap-like feathers protruding from its tail; most of its body would have been black in color, with a reddish-brown head.


Yi 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.


Yi's most defining traits are the bony rods situated on its wrists; combined with large, membranous flaps of skin that stretched all the way from the sides of its body to its third fingers, those would have formed large, leathery wings that would allow the scansoriopterygid to glide from tree to tree. Of course, there are two interpretations to how its wings were shaped; some say that the bony rods that held up the wings pointed in a straight fashion, leading to big, broad wings, while others say that those rods pointed backwards, leading to thinner but longer wings. Due to this revolutionary discovery, many people consider other scansoriopterygids like Epidexipteryx to have had those bony rods and membranous wings. As well as this, like Epidexipteryx, Yi had a downwards-turning lower jaw that moved away from the upper jaw, as well as huge front teeth and smaller back teeth; similarly, this suggests that the theropod used a special prey capture method with these jaws.

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