Made popular in part by scientific discovery and in part by gaming appearances, Yutyrannus is the largest dinosaur known to have feathers. While related to the Tyrannosaur family, it’s actually a proceratosaurid; and the largest and latest surviving known of its kind. Tipping the scales at 9 meters (30 feet) long and 1.3 tons, it was a large yet slender predator capable of impressive speed. Most notably it was covered in a full coat of filamentous feathers, wavy horn-like eyelet crests, a rigid and low central crest, and 3 clawed fingers unlike advanced Tyrannosaurs having only 2. The coat of dense and hollow feathers were a must in Early Cretaceous northern China; the biome in which Yutyrannus lived was harsh and unforgiving with only a brief time of the year having warm weather. Volcanic eruptions and forest fires were frequent, and heavy snowfall was common in the taiga and conifer mountain forests. Nevertheless, Yutyrannus was well adapted and sat comfortably near the top of the food chain, and the cold weather Yixian formation had many thriving dinosaur species living alongside it.
- As Yutyrannus grew older in age it’s legs shortened and it’s skull grew deeper. This means that it became less of a pursuit predator and more capable of tackling heavy prey. But even an old individual could still run 30-40 mph!
- Yutyrannus was undoubtedly savage, but even it yielded to an unindentified apex predator. A local titanosaur, Dongbeititan, has recorded fossil remains of a rib with half of a carcharodontosaur tooth impeded in it. Whatever was capable of slaying such a colossus was something not to be trifled with.
- The Yixian formation in Liaoning, China was full of feathered dinosaurs, no doubt because of the cold ancient climate. It’s home to not just the record holder for largest feathered dinosaur Yutyrannus, but also the previous record holder Beipiaosaurus, and also the first dinosaur known to have feathers at all: Sinocalliopteryx. Other notable dinosaurs that can be found here include Psittacosaurus, Sinornithosaurus, and Dilong.
- It’s name means “Feathered Tyrant,” derived partly from Chinese.
Would you like to see Yutyrannus in Jurassic World: Alive?
How do you think it would be in game?
Dinosaurs we would Like #6 - Shunosaurus