Giants in History: Lü Junchang

The expert on flying dinosaurs and egg-thief lizards 

Lü Junchang ( 1965 - 09 October 2018)


Lü Junchang (1965–9 October 2018) was a Chinese palaeontologist who is remembered as one of the most important dinosaur researchers of the last 50 years. Lü was an expert on reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic period about 252 million years ago. Cumulatively, Lü and his colleague/competitor Xiaolin Wang described and named more than 50 new species of flying dinosaurs known as pterosaurs. Among Lü’s most famous finds is Darwinopterus which had the characteristics of two pterosaur groups. A Darwinopterus fossil discovered by Lü suggested that the dinosaur died laying an egg, providing the first evidence of gender in pterosaurs. Lü was also a leading authority on oviraptorosaurs or “egg-thief lizards.” He and his colleague described the unusually tiny oviraptorosaur Yulong mini. Lü also facilitated the return of an oviraptorosaur embryo, nicknamed Baby Louie, to China where it was fully described.

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