Research Scientist, Palaeobiology

Xiao-chun Wu.

Contact Information

Tel: 613.364.4035
Fax: 613.364.4027

Xiao-chun Wu studies fossil reptiles across Canada and China.


  • Evolutionary morphology, form and function, systematic biology of Mesozoic terrestrial and marine fossil reptiles, especially diapsids.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary, 1996–1999.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, The Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto, 1994–1995.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and University of Calgary, 1991–1993.
  • Ph.D., McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1991.
  • M.Sc., The Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 1984.
  • Undergraduate study, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, 1975.

Ze-chuan Zhang © Ze-chuan Zhang


Searching for terrestrial reptiles from the Lower Jurassic red beds in Wuding, Yunnan province, China (2019).


Xiao-chun Wu and his collaborators have discovered countless dinosaur and other reptilian fossils that include specimens of horned dinosaurs, bird-like feathered dinosaurs, primitive crocodiles, semi-aquatic archosaurs, fossils of marine reptiles (including one with more than five digits and others that were pregnant), and primitive turtles. By studying these discoveries, Xiao-chun researches how dinosaurs evolved into birds, how ancient aquatic reptiles and bird-like dinosaurs reproduced, and the early evolution of crocodiles and turtles.

Xiao-chun's research also examines the family trees of dinosaurs and other reptiles that lived 65–250 million years ago that gave rise to birds, crocodiles, marine reptiles and lizards. He is a Research Associate with the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (Alberta), and the Institute of Paleontology and Paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research has been published in the world's leading scientific journals such as Science and Nature, and he co-authored the books The Gross Anatomy of Alligator sinensis FauvelThe Chinese Fossil Reptiles and Their Kin and Palaeovertebrata Sinica--II Amphibians, Reptilians, and Avians (4.8 Basal Archosauromorphs, Crocodylomorphs, and Pterosaurs).

Main Research Projects

Professional Services

  • Member of the Editorial Board, Vertebrata PalAsiatica.
  • Research Associate, The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.
  • Research Associate, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • Member of Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
  • Member of Canadian Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
  • Member of Paleontological Association of China.

Recent Publications

Wu, X.-c., J.-r. Shi, L.-y. Dong, T.D. Carr, J. Y, and S.-c. Xu. 2020. A new tyrannosauroid from the Upper Cretaceous of Shanxi, China. Cretaceous Research 108.

Yang, T.-r., Wiemann, J., L. Xu, Y.-n. Cheng, X.-c. Wu and P.M. Sander. 2019. Reconstruction of oviraptorid clutches illuminates their unique nesting biology. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 64: 581–596.

Li, C., X.-c. Wu and S.J. Rufolo. 2019. A new crocodyloid (Eusuchia: Crocodylia) from the Upper Cretaceous of China. Cretaceous Research 94: 25–39. (Corresponding author)

Wang, W., C. Li and X.-c. Wu. 2019. An adult specimen of Sinocyamodus xinpuensis (Sauropterygia: Placodontia) from Guanling, Guizhou, China. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 185: 910–924.

Li, C., N.C. Fraser, O. Rieppel and X.-c. Wu. 2018. A Triassic stem turtle with an edentulous beak. Nature 560: 476–479. (Corresponding author)

Wu, X.-c., C. Li and Y.-y. Wang. 2018. Taxonomic reassessment and phylogenetic test of Asiatosuchus nanlingensis Young, 1964 and Eoalligator chunyii Young, 1964. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 56: 137–146.

Stocker, M.R., L.-j. Zhao, S.J. Nesbitt, X.-c. Wu and C. Li. 2017. A Short-Snouted, Middle Triassic Phytosaur and its Implications for the Morphological Evolution and Biogeography of Phytosauria. Scientific Reports 7:46028.

Shang, Q.-h., C. Li and X.-c. Wu. 2017. New information on Dianmeisaurus gracilis Shang & Li, 2015. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 55: 145–161.

Shang, Q.-h., T. Sato, C. Li and X.-c. Wu. 2017. New osteological information from a 'juvenile' specimen of Yunguisaurus (Sauropterygia; Pistosauroidea). Palaeoworld 26: 500–509.

Shan, H.-y., X.-C. Wu, Y.-N. Cheng and T. Sato. 2016. Maomingosuchus petrolica, a restudy of "Tomistoma" petrolica Yeh, 195". Palaeoworld 26: 672–690. (Corresponding author)

Li, C., X.-c. Wu, L.-j. Zhao, S.J. Nesbitt, M.R. Stocker and L.-t. Wang 2016. A new armoured archosauriform (Diapsida: Archosauromorpha) from the marine Middle Triassic of China, with implications for the diverse life styles of archosauriforms prior to the diversification of Archosauria. The Science of Nature 103 95 (2016). (Corresponding author)

Ji, Q., X.-C. Wu, Y.-n. Cheng, F. Ten, X. Wang and Y. Ji. 2016. Fish hunting ankylosaurs (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Cretaceous of China. Journal of Geology 40: 183–190.–3636.2016.02.183

Cheng, Y.-n., X.-c. Wu, T. Sato and H.-y. Shan. 2016. Dawazisaurus brevis, a new eosauropterygian from the Middle Triassic of Yunnan, China. Acta Geologica Sinica 90: 401–424. (Corresponding author)

Wu, X.-c., L.-j. Zhao, T. Sato, S.-x. Gu and X.-s. Jin. 2015. A new specimen of Hupehsuchus nanchangensis Young, 1972 (Diapsida, Hupehsuchia) from the Triassic of Hubei, China. Historical Biology 28: 42–51.

Wu, X.-c. and D. B. Brinkman, 2015. A new crocodylian (Eusuchia) from the uppermost Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 52: 590–607.