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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered 139

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2014 @01:36PM (#47532855)

    Find some more feathered fossils and conclude that ALL dinosaurs probably had feathers.

    I propose that a heck of a lot more digging and research is necessary before anyone starts putting that in print.

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

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday July 25, 2014 @01:56PM (#47533065)

    You realize Siberia wasn't above the arctic circle 160million years ago right? Also... the whole planet was a lot hotter.

  • by KeithJM ( 1024071 ) on Friday July 25, 2014 @03:34PM (#47533915) Homepage
    It's a broad leap, but they didn't just find some random feathered fossils. They found fossils of various species that shared an ancestor very early in the dinosaur line. So it would be like discovering that Humans, Orangutans and Gorillas all had something in common (like a particular lobe of the brain) that we had previously thought only humans had. It would imply the there is a good chance Chimpanzees have it too, because it seems likely to be inherited from that early shared ancestor. They could be wrong, and each of those lines of dinosaurs could have evolved feathers separately. But it's not just a random conclusion.

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