Tiny Chinese dinosaur sported strange wings

Malcolm Ritter
Associated Press

New York — A pint-sized dinosaur has a big surprise: It apparently sported a pair of bizarre wings.

Dinosaurs normally used wings mostly made of feathers for flight. But the newly discovered creature evidently had wings made of skin instead, like those of a bat or some ancient flying reptiles.

It’s not clear whether they flapped or merely let the creature glide.

A fossil of the two-legged dinosaur was reported Wednesday in the journal Nature. The creature weighed less than a pound when it lived in northeast China some 160 million years ago. The Chinese researchers named it Yi qi, which is Mandarin for “strange wing.”

The evidence for the wings comes from bones extending from the wrists like rods, plus some patches of skin.