|Named By:||X. Xu & F.inL. Han in 2010|
|Time Period:||Late Cretaceous, 66 Ma|
|Location:||China - Nanxiong Formation|
|Size:||Sometimes credtied as being about 65 centimetres long, but this figure is highly speculative given that at the time of writing this dinosur is only known from a single skull which is also from a juvenile|
|Fossil(s):||Almost complete skull and lower jaw, potentially from a juvenile|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Reptilia | Dinosauria | Saurischia | Theropoda | Oviraptorosauria | Oviraptoridae | Oviraptorinae ||
Banji is an extinct genus of oviraptorid dinosaur that lived approximately 66 million years ago during the latter part of the Cretaceous Period in what is now China. It was a small, lighly-built, ground-dwelling, bipedal carnivore, that was an estimated 65 cm (2.1 ft) long, as a juvenile. It contains only one known species, Banji long, named from the Chinese for "striped crest dragon". It was first described by Xu Xing and Feng-Lu Han in 2010.
The holotype specimen, IVPP V 16896, consists of a single nearly complete skull and lower jaw. It was donated to the Chinese Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology by an amateur collector who recovered the fossil near the city of Ganzhou, in Jiangxi Province. Examination of the rock encasing the skull shows it is probably from the Red Beds of the Nanxiong Formation, which date to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary about 66 million years ago.
Banji possessed a tall, crested skull like some other oviraptorids. Uniquely, the sides of the crest are adorned with a series of vertical striations, as well as grooves on the top of the lower jaw. Banji also differs from other oviraptorids in having an unusually long nasal opening that followed the curve of the crest nearly to the eye socket.