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Science

Researchers Unearth Largest Feathered Dinosaur 58

Posted by samzenpus
from the really-big-bird dept.
sciencehabit writes "Paleontologists have unearthed fossils of the largest feathered creature yet known, a 1.4-metric ton dinosaur that was an early cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex. The long, filament-like feathers preserved with three relatively complete skeletons of the newly described species provide direct evidence of extensively feathered gigantic dinosaurs. The discovery is controversial—and in some scientific circles, largely unexpected."
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Researchers Unearth Largest Feathered Dinosaur

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  • Unexpected? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by medcalf (68293) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @06:13PM (#39579337) Homepage
    My (certainly amateur) reading of the literature indicates that it's likely that all therapods were feathered, albeit mostly with thin insulating feathers that don't fossilize well. How is this unexpected?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      My (certainly amateur) reading of the literature indicates that it's likely that all therapods were feathered, albeit mostly with thin insulating feathers that don't fossilize well. How is this unexpected?

      its a large debate amongst paleontologist's whether or not dinosaurs were feathered, with some choosing to believe they were and others refuting the evidence as inconclusive, such as the apparent feathers simply being a tree branch or other anomaly, not feathers.

      personally i prefer the past when dinosaurs weren't feathered its hard to think of raptor as kool and scary anymore when they look like retarded balding chickens

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        personally i prefer the past when dinosaurs weren't feathered its hard to think of raptor as kool and scary anymore when they look like retarded balding chickens

        So you don't think something with feathers could scary? Like, say, an eagle? Well fucking grizzly bears [youtube.com] disagree with you -- maybe you should reconsider!

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by N0Man74 (1620447)

        its a large debate amongst paleontologist's whether or not dinosaurs were feathered, with some choosing to believe they were and others refuting the evidence as inconclusive, such as the apparent feathers simply being a tree branch or other anomaly, not feathers.

        personally i prefer the past when dinosaurs weren't feathered its hard to think of raptor as kool and scary anymore when they look like retarded balding chickens

        I think you are confusing science with something else.

      • Know what's worse? Most ancient dinosaurs probably didn't go "RAWWWWRRRR." In fact, they probably didn't have voices at all [wikipedia.org] - vocal chords in the larynx are a mammalian invention, and birds make sounds with the syrinx, which came along later.

        My daughter is 4yo and dinosaur-mad. Her very favourite day out is the Natural History Museum (with the fucking huge diplodocus in the entry hall). How do you break it to a small child that dinosaurs didn't go "RAWWWWRRRR"? Santa is nothing to this.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          How do you break it to a small child that dinosaurs didn't go "RAWWWWRRRR"?

          Wait until they're a slightly larger child and won't be so crushed?

          Seriously, if your 4 year old wants to believe they go "RAWWWWRRRR", why disappoint her just yet? She's got plenty of years to be stuck with cold hard facts. Just go "RAWWWWRRRR" back. :-P

    • I think the going assumption up until now has been that large theropods of all types, tyrannosaurs and the like, may have had feathers as juveniles but lost them all or most of them in adulthood.

    • by rve (4436)

      My (certainly amateur) reading of the literature indicates that it's likely that all therapods were feathered, albeit mostly with thin insulating feathers that don't fossilize well. How is this unexpected?

      But fossil skin imprints of later therapods (t-rex) indicate that they had scales...

      For some reason, apart from the archaeopteryx (which is a far older fossil), the feathered dinosaurs all seem to have lived in that one area in present day China. I'm certainly not an expert, but I'm not convinced any of them are entirely real. Many of these, apparently including this fossil, were not dug up and prepared by paleontologists, but by local artisans. The ones with feather imprints or looking like transitional sp

  • by Anonymous Coward
    From sesame street
  • Wheres the pics? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ThePeices (635180) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @06:26PM (#39579479)

    It would be nice if the article actually included a few photos of the fossils that were found.

    Some artists rendering is a poor substitute.

  • (And you thought only XKCD was relevant to Slashdot) http://www.gocomics.com//culdesac/2012/04/04 [gocomics.com]
  • by NEDHead (1651195) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @07:04PM (#39579841)

    No reanimation until this feather thing is resolved

  • Clothing? (Score:5, Funny)

    by retroworks (652802) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @07:08PM (#39579873) Homepage Journal
    Have we eliminated the possibility that dinosaurs wore clothing?
  • by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @07:46PM (#39580175) Homepage Journal

    It is likely that in some dinosaurs that both were present. In other cases, it may be that feathers were present first, then scales replaced them when shed - like adult teeth replace milk teeth. Also, because it's the same gene, a change in environmental conditions may cause feathers to appear in dinosaurs in which they would not otherwise do so -- once the mutations necessary have arisen, of course. One case study is proof that the mutations existed at that time and is a strong indication that feathered dinos existed prior to that time, but we've insufficient evidence to say definitely if this was a feathered dino in the general case, only the specific case.

  • Buffalo Wings won't you come out tonight?
    Come out tonight?...

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