|Named By:||Pascal Godefroit, Andrea Cau, Hu DonginYu, Francois Escuillie, Wu Wenhao & Gareth Dyke in 2013|
|Time Period:||Late Jurassic, 160 Ma|
|Location:||China, Liaoning Province - Tiaojishan Formation? See main text|
|Size:||About 50 centimetres long|
|Fossil(s):||Single individual preserved on a slab|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Avialae ||
Aurornis is an extinct genus of theropod dinosaurs from the Jurassic period of China. The genus Aurornis contains a single known species, Aurornis xui . Aurornis xui may be the most basal ("primitive") avialan dinosaur known to date, and it is one of the earliest avialans found to date. The fossil evidence for the animal pre-dates that of the Archaeopteryx lithographica, often considered the earliest bird species, by about 10 million years.
Aurornis xui was first described and named by Pascal Godefroit, Andrea Cau, Hu Dong-Yu, Francois Escuillie, Wu Wenhao and Gareth Dyke in 2013. The generic name is derived from the Latin word aurora, meaning "daybreak" or "dawn", and the Ancient Greek ornis (ornis) meaning "bird". The specific name, A. xui, honors Xu Xing. A recent study of specimens of the avialan Anchiornis has found that the traits exhibited by Aurornis fall within the range of variation in Anchiornis, warranting their synonymization.