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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the tyrannosaurus-big-bird dept.
A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."
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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

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  • Re:Wow, amazing... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Friday July 25, 2014 @12:52PM (#47533003) Journal
  • Re:Whelp. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shadowrat (1069614) on Friday July 25, 2014 @02:29PM (#47533873)

    You think a T-Rex "chicken" wouldn't be scary? Imagine a 15 foot tall, 40 foot long bird of prey with a 4 foot jaw and 9 inch long teeth. Your average adult human would be finger food - a bite or two and then gone. This gets even more terrifying if you imagine them as giant cockatoos (and if you know how nasty cockatoos can be).

    I worked a good many years in an exotic pet store. My area of expertise was reptiles and, in my time, i was bitten by all manner of things that most people don't want to get bitten by. Of all the animals i would deal with, the birds were the things that really terrified me.

    Reptiles, yeah, you gotta repect them, esspecially the highly venemous ones. But, they are predictable and easily outsmarted. Birds can be fierce opponents. They are intelligence combined with effective weapons. They can deduce it's better to ignore the leather glove and aim for the exposed forearm. There was one macaw that i swear would pretend to be nice just to lull me into a vulnerable position.

    Not a day goes by that i'm not thankful that i live in a world where i only have to worry about sharks, big cats, bears, wolves, and reptiles. I would be terrified having to worry about a bird that might get me.

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