The Soundly Sleeping Dragon

This week’s transitional fossil is Mei long, a troodontid dinosaur from China.  The family Troodontidae basically encompasses bird-like dinosaurs.  In Chinese, Mei long means “soundly sleeping dragon”; and here’s why.

 Mei long

Holy crap, with a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry on top!  When our poor dino friend died, he did so in a sound sleep, and thanks to him we now know that… HOLY CRAP…

A 130MYA+ nestling behaviour…

Mei long was found in the Liaoning Province of China.  It lived 130 million years ago. 

“I never expected we’d find a sleeping dinosaur in general, let alone with the tuck-in position,” Xu Xing, curator

The remarkable thing about Mei long is that it shows us how feathered dinosaurs slept back then.  As we see today, birds nestle with their head tucked on their back.  They do this to rest their neck muscles, as well as for heat conservation.