Fun Jixiangornis Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Mar 24, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Jixiangornis facts are about a basal bird, very similar to modern birds.

Jixiangornis orientalis, a relatively new species of the extinct genus to be discovered, was a member of the Euaviale family. Resembling modern birds more than dinosaurs, these creatures had quite a distinct appearance.

A single fossil specimen of Jixiangornis has pointed towards the presence of a toothless beak, triangular head, and feathered tail in this group. They also had significantly long forelimbs, which is a testament to their flying ability. Research has suggested that Jixiangornis were better fliers than Archaeopteryx.

Jixiangornis was discovered and described by the researcher Ji and his associates in the year 2002. This bird is closely related to Jeholornis, and the two probably shared a lot of common characteristics. One of the interesting aspects of Jixiangornis was the lack or reduction of teeth.

Since other modern avialans of the time had teeth, it has been postulated that Jixiangornis developed its toothlessness independently. This bird was a part of the Yixian Formation.

The paleobotany and ecology of this Formation have been studied quite well, and hence, shed light on how this animal lived. Other aspects about Jixiangornis remain a mystery. Nevertheless, they form an important part of understanding how dinosaurs evolved into birds.

There are many more interesting facts you can study about this animal. Are you curious? To learn more facts about Jixiangornis, keep reading!

Jixiangornis Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Jixiangornis'?

The name Jixiangornis is pronounced as 'Gee-shang-gawr-nis'.

What type of dinosaur was a Jixiangornis?

Jixiangornis was very close to modern birds and were part of the Euaviale family. Euaviale means 'true winged' birds. Jixiangornis were closer to birds than to dinosaurs, even though they were part of the Theropoda clade.

In which geological period did the Jixiangornis roam the Earth?

Jixiangornis orientalis existed 124.5 million years ago, corresponding to the Early Cretaceous Period. This era was part of the Aptian Age of the Early Cretaceous.

When did the Jixiangornis become extinct?

Due to a dearth of fossil records, it has been assumed that Jixiangornis became extinct during the Early Cretaceous period.

Where did Jixiangornis live?

The remains of Jixiangornis were found in Beipiao City in China. They were part of the Yixian Formation.

What was the Jixiangornis' habitat?

The natural sciences of the Yixian Formation have been quite well-studied. This formation was mainly characterized by temperate and subtropical forests. The climate was predominantly humid. When it comes to vegetation, some of the common plants are horsetails, ferns, lycopods, and even flowering plants. There were also a number of freshwater lakes in this geological formation.

Who did the Jixiangornis live with?

The social behavior of Jixiangornis has not been evaluated due to a lack of material for research. It is possible that these early birds existed in groups or moved around solitarily.

How long did a Jixiangornis live?

The lifespan of Jixiangornis has not been estimated. Usually, in dinosaurs, the lifespan depends on a host of factors, including size, diet, metabolism, environment, and so on.

How did they reproduce?

Like other dinosaurs and modern birds, the Jixiangornis reproduced by laying eggs. The reproductive behavior remains to be a mystery. However, the embryo development took place inside the egg, which may have been laid in clusters in nests.

Jixiangornis Fun Facts

What did the Jixiangornis look like?

Considerable research has been put into understanding the physical description of Jixiangornis. This basal bird had a characteristic triangular head, highly reduced or non-existent teeth, and a significantly long tail.

The end of Jixiangornis' tail had feathers, which made this species look quite fancy. The lower jaw extended out of the skull, and there was also the presence of a beak. Another key feature of this species was its long forelimb.

This long forelimb is attributed to the flying abilities of this bird. It is not known whether they had neck frills.

Jixiangornis had feathers.


How many bones did a Jixiangornis have?

Fortunately, a complete skeleton of this flying bird has been recovered. Nevertheless, due to the nature of the fossil, the exact number of bones has not been counted. However, researchers do know that the skeleton belonged to a juvenile. Hence, there is also a chance that the skeleton was not fully developed.

How did they communicate?

Though the precise patterns of communication in Jixiangornis have not been studied, it is possible that these early birds communicated using similar methods to modern birds today. Furthermore, Jixiangornis had a hearing range of 5000 Hz. They may have also used their tail feathers in order to perform various displays.

How big was the Jixiangornis?

The exact length of the Jixiangornis is not known. However, this new species was quite similar to another genus of birds known as Jeholornis. The Jeholornis, which was quite a large bird, had a length of 2.5 ft (76.2 cm). A minor difference between the two was that Jixiangornis had a slightly longer tail.

How fast could a Jixiangornis move?

Given the long forelimbs of Jixiangornis, it is quite evident that they had some flying ability. Like the Jeholornis, Jixiangorni, too, had better-flying capabilities in comparison to Archaeopteryx.

The anatomical study of Jeholornis revealed that those birds were not capable of flapping motions and could most likely achieve parachuting or gliding at best. So, a similar flying style can be assumed for Jixiangornis.

How much did a Jixiangornis weigh?

The weight of Jixiangirnis has not been estimated. Nevertheless, it probably had a similar weight to that of Jeholornis, who measured between 5-20 lb (2.3-9 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names dedicated to the male and female birds of this species.

What would you call a baby Jixiangornis?

A baby Jixiangornis would be known as a hatchling.

How aggressive were they?

Given the herbivorous nature of these birds, it is highly unlikely that they were aggressive. It had no teeth but had a long tail. However, their exact behavioral patterns or ways of defending themselves have not been discovered or evaluated.

Did you know…

The scientific name Jixiangornis orientalis literally translates to 'Oriental bird from the Yixian Formation'.

Jixiangornis is a part of the clade Avialae. Archaeopteryx is also a part of this clade. Some other birds which were closely related to Jixiangornis are Sapeornis, Chongmingia, Confuciusornis, and Ornithothoraces.


*We've been unable to source an image of Jixiangornis and have used an image of a raptor instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Jixiangornis, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

**We've been unable to source an image of Jixiangornis and have used an image of a model dinosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Jixiangornis, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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