Discovering a Jurassic Highflyer

Fossils of a four-winged species of dinosaur discovered in northeastern China have provided surprising new evidence on the evolution of birds, a group of Chinese paleontologists reported in the journal Nature this month. The dinosaur, given the name Microraptor gui, appears to have used its feathers to glide from tree to tree, much like a flying squirrel. Its gliding motion supports the theory that birds, which are believed to have evolved from dinosaurs, took their first flight from the trees down, not from the ground up, as a competing theory maintains. Microraptor gui was relatively small--about 3 ft. long from head...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!