Sinosauropteryx is one of the most exciting and important dinosaur discoveries ever made. The name Sinosauropteryx means "Feathered Dinosaur of China." The first fossils found in 1996 showed detailed impressions of feathers in the rock.
Sinosauropteryx's feathers were not as well developed as those found on modern birds; they were more like thick down.
Scientists had long theorized that birds descended from dinosaurs, and that many of them had feathers. This, however, was the first time physical evidence had been found to backup, or prove, these beliefs.
There are many theories as to what the feathers might have been used for. Perhaps they were used to attract a mate, or to camouflage themselves. The most interesting theory is that feathers were used as insulation to keep the animal warm. If this were true, it would prove that some dinosaurs were warm blooded.
Sinosauropteryx was very similar to other small theropods.