|Named By:||Xu, Wang & Wu in 1999|
|Time Period:||Early Cretaceous, 124.6-122 Ma|
|Location:||China, Liaoning Province - Yixian Formation|
|Size:||Around 120 centimetres long|
|Fossil(s):||2 specimens, with some other specimens possibly being examples of the genus|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Reptilia | Dinosauria | Saurischia | Theropoda | Dromaeosauridae | Microraptoria | Microraptorinae ||
Sinornithosaurus (derived from a combination of Latin and Greek, meaning 'Chinese bird-lizard') is a genus of feathered dromaeosaurid dinosaur from the early Cretaceous Period (early Aptian) of the Yixian Formation in what is now China. It was the fifth non-avian feathered dinosaur genus discovered by 1999. The original specimen was collected from the Sihetun locality of western Liaoning. It was found in the Jianshangou beds of the Yixian Formation, dated to 124.5 million years ago. Additional specimens have been found in the younger Dawangzhangzi bed, dating to around 122 million years ago.
Xu Xing described Sinornithosaurus and performed a phylogenetic analysis which demonstrated that it is basal, or primitive, among the dromaeosaurs. He has also demonstrated that features of the skull and shoulder are very similar to Archaeopteryx and other Avialae. Together these two facts demonstrate that the earliest dromaeosaurs were more like birds than the later dromaeosaurs were.
Sinornithosaurus was among the smallest dromaeosaurids, with a length of about 90 centimetres (3.0 ft). In 2010, Gregory S. Paul gave higher estimations of 1.2 metres and three kilogrammes.