Scientists Believe Possibly Almost All Dinosaurs Were Covered in Feathers

Scientists Believe Possibly Almost All Dinosaurs Were Covered in Feathers

Scientists are reporting that they believe now that possibly almost all dinosaurs were covered in feathers. In a discovery in Siberia, fossils of a two-legged running dinosaur that date from about 160 million years ago propose such a find. In the discovery which was reported by an international team in the journal Science, the new dinosaur species, which has been named Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus suggests that feathers may have been common.

Over the past twenty years, discoveries in China came up with at least five different species of feathered dinosaurs but they all belonged to the same family of “raptor” dinosaurs, which were ancestors of modern birds. This new unearthed nearly five foot long two-legged runner was an ornithischian (beaked) dinosaur, which means it belonged to a group of dinosaurs ancestrally distinct from past theropod finds. This fact most likely means the common ancestor of all dinosaurs had feathers. Pascal Godefroit, who was the research study chief author and also works at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science in Brussels, explained that it was possible that feathers might not be a characteristic just of birds but of all dinosaurs.

The discovered fossils, which include six skulls and numerous other bones, greatly extend the number of dinosaur families having feathers; downy, ribboned and even thin ones such as in this instance. In addition to feathers, Kulindadromeus also had rows of scales, particularly arched ones, that showed up on their long tails.

Kulindadromeus adds an entire new element to understanding feather evolution, because the fossils are different from ones that have been discovered on other feathered dinosaurs or present day birds. Professor Godefroit stated that he does not know exactly what all the various feathers did, that no one knows for sure, but one thing is definite, the animals did not fly, that is one thing they are able to tell the public with complete certainty.

During the Jurassic period, Kulindadromeus dwelled close to the Siberian Kulinda River, having feathery tufts on both its elbows and legs, while it had more simplified feathers on its back. Its shins had ribbon-shaped feathers of some type that had never been seen beforehand. The dinosaurs’ bones were all discovered at about the age of juveniles, so that proposed they all died in single events, not in some sort of mass catastrophe, added Godefroit.

Even so, the professor stated that he thought the biggest of all dinosaurs most likely had the least amount of feathers, because they would not have needed them for insulation to cover their bodies. It is the same as elephants in Africa not needing any type of fur this day and time.

Scientists state that they believe now that possibly almost all dinosaurs were covered in feathers. In a discovery in Siberia, fossils of a two-legged running dinosaur that date from about 160 million years ago propose such a find. In the discovery which was reported by an international team in the journal Science, the new dinosaur species, which has been named Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus suggests that feathers may have been common.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

The Week

Slashdot

National Geographic News

One Response to "Scientists Believe Possibly Almost All Dinosaurs Were Covered in Feathers"

  1. Tabitha Farrar   July 27, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    This is just so fascinating!

    Reply

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