Nature reported today on a strange new feathered theropod from China. You might recognize this picture from other blogs. Indeed, it's covered elsewhere (Tet. Zoo, Archosaur Musings, HMNH) far better than you can expect here. I don't even have a copy of the paper!
*wink wink nudge nudge*
The new animal, Epidexipterus, is a subadult scansoriopterygian that's a mere 20 cm long--itty bitty to the extreme. As a subadult, I doubt the whole animal would've grown too much more, especially since its ribbon-like caudal display feathers have grown in (implying it's hit sexual maturity). I believe this makes Epidexipterus the smallest known non-avian dinosaur, beating Microraptor and Mei by a large margin. Among the more unique features to the animal: Procumbent dentition in the manner of Masiakasaurus, a surprisingly primitive pelvic arrangement, and very strange feathers that appear tufted but lack a central rachis. Indeed, the paper suggests that the feather filliments arise from some vague "membraneous" structure. Four very long "ribbon-like" feathers originating from the tail, which reminds me of Confuciusornis. The feathers appear very stiff.
Unfortunately, Epidexipterus lacks features (mostly due to incomplete preservation) that might synonymize it with Scansoriopteryx. The fossil does not preserve the hands very well, so that long aye-aye-like third finger is nowhere to be found. Epidexipterus has a mouth full of teeth, unlike its toothless baby cousin, and the tail seems incredibly short, although there's a break between the pelvis and the preserved caudals. While this could mean that a section of the tail was not preserved, the very close association between the back of the pelvis and the preserved caudals says to me that the tail really is very short. Once I somehow get ahold of the description, I plan on doing on my usual B&W line drawing restorations. Look forward to it, kiddies!