A new fossil was uncovered in China with bird bones in its ribcage—right where its stomach must have been. Researchers consider it to be a predatory dinosaur that ate an adult bird just before it died. But was it really a dinosaur?

This was such a rare find because the creature apparently did not have enough time to digest its food before it was killed and subsequently fossilized. The still-connected bones of the eaten bird’s feet enabled paleontologists to positively identify it. The creature that ate the bird, however, proved more difficult to classify.

In a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, three investigators wrote that the fossilized predator was the four-winged flying creature Microraptor gui, already known from other fossils.1 Since the species was described in 2000, it has been the subject of evolution-based speculation, including ongoing confusion over what its name should be, under what category it should be grouped, what role it may or may not have played in the imaginary evolutionary drama, and even what general class of animal it was.

Microraptor had long flight feathers on its hind legs, and no such creature inhabits modern zoos. However, the fact that it had flight feathers should have been a major clue as to its basic identity. Only birds sport feathers. It also had a long tail with flattened flight feathers on the end. Such a tail would have stabilized—and was perhaps essential to—a creature with four operational wings. The skeletal anatomy and presence of flight feathers clearly show that Microraptor was a bird, albeit a unique one.

So the evolutionary doctrine that dinosaurs evolved into birds must be the main reason why scientists labeled Microraptor a theropod dinosaur, rather than the scientific evidence. By first calling this creature a dinosaur, they can then point to it as an example of a so-called “feathered dinosaur!”….

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