Caudipteryx feathers

We have a number of excellent specimens of Caudipteryx at the IVPP, though only this one example on display. It shows off just how frustrating these things can be – it’s the best preserved Liaoning oviraptorosaur I know of, with very well preserved bones, feathers and a complete set of gastroliths, but the head and neck is missing as well as the tip of the tail. Ah well, can’t have everything (apparently).

Still, the feathers here are rather nice so here’s a couple of snaps of them, though the glass and position of the specimens means they are not great, sorry about that. One day more museums will actually consider, you known, the people who want to see the specimens when they design the display.

Anyhow, Caudipteryx is most notable for the long feathers on the forearm and manus and the fan of feathers on the tail, though as can be seen in various specimens there were feathers over much of the body. Here are a couple of close-up (well, as far as possible) showing off the arm feathers, though some of those from the chest are also visible. Also in shot are the gastroliths (stomach stones).

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5 Responses to “Caudipteryx feathers”


  1. 1 Teresa White 04/02/2010 at 9:31 am

    What do you think might be the best way to display specimens like the Caudipteryx? Given the flatness of the piece would it make sense to have it wall mounted (behind glass) rather than in a display case?

    • 2 David Hone 04/02/2010 at 9:50 am

      Good question! First off, most museums make almost no use of non-reflective glass (often used in galleries) which allows things to be illuminated properly and photographs taken but without lots of flash and reflections.
      In the case here, the specimen is laid out more or less flat, but because it’s in a display case against a wall, you can’t see it well. If it was wall mounted vertically, or flat, but where you could walk around it, that would be much better. You could see the whole thing in detail, whereas here, the posterior part is a couple of feet away at the back of the case and no way to see it properly but peer through the glass.

  2. 3 Tom 05/02/2010 at 5:50 am

    Lovely specimen. I didn’t realize how long the feathers on the manus really were.

    • 4 David Hone 05/02/2010 at 8:44 am

      Yep they are pretty big, and supposedly even bigger in the terribly names Simialicaudipteryx, though I’ve not seen that specimen yet though I think it’s at the IVPP.


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