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Dilong paradoxus

Dilong is a small basal tyrannosauroid from the Early Cretaceous of China. Compared to its descendants of the late cretaceous such as Tyrannosaurus, it has a light slender body with long arms and 3 digits per hand. One of the referred specimen show traces of filamentary structures on the tail, indicating that Dilong was probably covered with primitive hair-like feathers.


Dilong paradoxus


Xu, Kuang, Wang, Zhao and Jia, 2004

Meaning of the generic name

Emperor Dragon


Length: 1.6 m


Holotype (IVPP V14243): Nearly complete articulated skeleton
Referred specimens: IVPP V14242 (nearly complete skull and
associated presacral vertebrae); TNP01109 (partial skull); IVPP V11579 (fragmentary skeleton with traces of filamentary integumentary structures on the tail).

Age and Distribution

Horizon: lower part of Yixian Formation (Lujiatun & Jianshangou beds), Barremian
Type locality: Lujiatun, Beipiao, western Liaoning, China


Dinosauria Saurischia Theropoda Tyrannosauroidea

  Further Reading

  Xu, X., Norell, M. A., Kuang, X., Wang, X., Zhao, Q., Jia, C. (2004). "Basal tyrannosauroids from China and evidence for protofeathers in tyrannosauroids". Nature 431: 680–684.


Illustration by N. Tamura

Photo of the holotype skull (IVPP V14243) and skull reconstruction of Dilong paradoxus. From Xu et al., 2004.