Aw, Me Dino’s Gone All Fuzzy, Mate.

Posted: March 19th, 2009 in dinosaur, nature, paleontology, science
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Hey, an exciting pushback of dogmatic dates has occurred, dinosaur fossils having been discovered in China that sport fuzzy, bristly “proto-feathers” in select areas at a much earlier time than thought. The BBC report excerpt is below… it conjures up some fascinating scenes of what could have been.

The critters in this image from the science journal Nature look pretty good with a mane on, don’t you think? Makes you want to hop into a Tardis, it does me at least, even with my strong trepidation regarding opening the door to a 3 meter long Eurypterid. Really. That wouldn’t be good. They’re slightly more dangerous than the ones that Saudi dude ate

Fuzzy Chinese dinosaurs. Image by the journal Nature.

Fossil hints at fuzzy dinosaurs
By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News

A discovery in China has prompted researchers to question the scaly image of dinosaurs.

Previously, experts thought the first feathered dinosaurs appeared about 150 million years ago, but the find suggests feathers evolved much earlier.

This has raised the question of whether many more of the creatures may have been covered with similar bristles, or “dino-fuzz”.

The team describe the fossil in the journal Nature.

Hai-Lu You, a researcher from the Insitute of Geology in Beijing, was part of the team that discovered the fossil.

He told BBC News he was “very excited” when he realised the significance of what his team had found.

He described the filaments seen on the body of the new dinosaur, which the team has named Tianyulong confuciusi, as “protofeathers” – the precursors of modern feathers.

“Their function was probably display, as well as to keep the body warm” he said.

Dr You’s team noticed that the filaments on the base of their dinosaur’s tail were extremely long.

These, they suggest, might have evolved for show, and may even have been coloured.

“The world of dinosaurs would [have been] more colourful and active than we previously imagined,” he said.
[…] Continue reading this article.

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