Home Previous Random Next Search
meaning: "Heyan one"
Named By: J. Lu in 2003
Time Period: Late Cretaceous, 70 Ma
Location: China, Guangdong Province - Dalangshan Formation
Size: At least 1.5 meters long
Diet: Uncertain
Fossil(s): Partial skull, mandible and most of the post cranial skeleton
Classification: | Chordata | Reptilia | Dinosauria | Theropoda | Oviraptorosauria | Oviraptoridae | Oviraptorinae |

Heyuannia ("Heyuan one") is a genus of oviraptorid dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period in China. It was the first oviraptorid found in that country; most others were found in neighbouring Mongolia.

The type species, Heyuannia huangi, was named and described by Lu Junchang in 2002. The generic name refers to the city of Heyuan. The specific name honours Huang Dong, the director of the Heyuan Museum. The holotype, HYMV1-1, was discovered in Guangdong near Huangsha in layers of the Dalangshan Formation. It consists of a partial skeleton, including the skull. Six further skeletons were assigned as paratypes or referred to the species. Multiple other fossils have been found, including one which may retain possible reproductive organs. Also, many thousands of eggs have been uncovered at the site, some of them of a theropod type and likely laid by Heyuannia. Based on examinations of the shells for biliverdin and protoporphyrin by Jasmina Wiemann and Tzu-Ruei Yang et al, it is believed that the eggs of Heyuannia were blue-green in color so as to both camouflage them in the nest from predators and to allow their parents to recognize them, something seen today in modern birds like American robins and ratites such as emus. This discovery also indicates that Heyuannia may have had increased parental care.

Heyuannia is a medium-sized oviraptorid. Gregory S. Paul in 2010 estimated its length at 1.5 metres, the weight at twenty kilograms. Its toothless skull is relatively short with a steep snout. It had very short arms and digits, and its first digit was reduced.

Heyuannia was assigned by Lu to the Oviraptoridae in 2002 . Its exact placement within this group is uncertain. Later analyses either resulted in a position in the Oviraptorinae or the Ingeniinae. According to Lu the morphology of the shoulder girdle of Heyuannia supports the hypothesis that oviraptosaurians were secondarily flightless birds.

Read more about Heyuannia at Wikipedia
PaleoCodex is a weekend hack by Saurav Mohapatra