Monkeydactyl sets a Guinness World Record


  • Kunpengopterus antipollicatus (nicknamed Monkeydactyl) is recognised as the 'First animal with opposable thumbs' by Guinness World Records. The record will be included in the 2023 edition of the Guinness World Records book. Monkeydactyl is a new species of darwinopteran pterosaur reported by our team in 2021.

  • Zhou, Pêgas, Ma, Han et al. 2021. Current Biology

  • Webpage on Guinness World Records


Oviraptorosaur skull muscles and bite forces


  • The feeding mechanics of oviraptorosaurs has never been studied using sophisticated muscle modelling. We restored the skulls digitally, reconstructed the adductor muscles, and calculated the bite forces of Incisivosaurus, Citipati, Khaan, and Conchoraptor. We revealed that oviraptorids had restrictive gapes and high bite forces compared to other herbivorous theropods.

  • Meade & Ma 2022. Scientific Reports



Profile: Hong Kong-born dinosaur expert


Exquisitely preserved theropod dinosaur embryo


Monkeydactyl selected as one of the surprising records science set in 2021


  • Our discovery of Kunpengopterus antipollicatus (nicknamed Monkeydactyl) was selected by Science News as one of the 6 surprising records science set in 2021. It is the earliest known animal with opposable thumbs.

  • Article in Science News

Macroevolution of theropod dinosaur feeding mechanics


  • Theropod dinosaurs underwent extreme dietary changes during the Mesozoic, from ancestral carnivory to specialised carnivory, herbivory, and omnivory. We used finite element analysis (FEA) to study the biomechanics of >40 theropod jaws, and revealed how carnivores and herbivores differ in feeding mechanics, as well as a general trend of jaw strengthening along all lineages.

  • Ma et al. 2022. Current Biology

  • Press in Daily Mail, New Scientist, Syfy Wirewissenschaft.deNotimérica科學網

Titanosauriform sauropod lower jaw from Ruyang Basin


  • Partial dentary of a titanosauriform sauropod is reported from Ruyang Basin of Henan, China. It has a relatively low tooth replacement rate compared to other titanosauriform sauropods. The fossil and 3D printed model are now displayed in the Dinosaur Hall of Henan Natural History Museum.

  • Chang et al. 2021. PeerJ 

  • Press in 中國新聞網, 新華網​, 新華社洛陽日報, 果殼​​, 科技日報


New darwinopteran pterosaur with the oldest opposed thumb


New long-tailed anurognathid pterosaur from the Jurassic


Article on oviraptorosaurs in Palaeontology Online



Commentary for The Times on a new oviraptorosaur


  • Oksoko is a new two-fingered oviraptorid oviraptorosaur from the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Formation of Mongolia.

  • Commentary in The Times 

Form and function of oviraptorosaur and scansoriopterygid skulls


  • The diets of oviraptorosaurian and scansoriopterygid dinosaurs are enigmatic. We conducted functional analysis and showed that these early-diverging pennaraptorans had a high dietary complexity. 

  • Ma et al. 2020. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History

Fossil record of pennaraptoran dinosaurs


Systematics of pennaraptoran dinosaurs


  • Pennaraptora is a group of theropod dinosaurs including Oviraptorosauria, Scansoriopterygidae, Dromaeosauridae, Troodontidae, and Avialae.

  • This paper presents the phylogenetic relationships within and between key clades, as well as their uncertainties and controversies. 

  • Pittman et al. 2020. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History

Oviraptorosaur skull evolution and niche partitioning


  • Oviraptorosaurs are known to have diverse skull forms. We used landmark, statistical and functional analyses to explore their skull form and function, with a particular focus on the niche partitioning among Ganzhou Oviraptorid Fauna.

  • Ma et al. 2020. Journal of Evolutionary Biology


Description of Gigantoraptor's lower jaw


  • Gigantoraptor is an 8-meter-long oviraptorosaur from Iren Dabasu Formation, Inner Mongolia, China. We provide an in-depth description of the mandible and discuss its implications on the evolution of oviraptorosaurian jaws.

  • Ma et al. 2017. Scientific Reports

  • Press in Sciworthy ​