13 Surprising Things That Are Parlty Made From Animals Product Feathered Dinosaur Fossil With Two Types of Fossil Feathers

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Feathered Dinosaur Fossil With Two Types of Fossil Feathers

Discovery of Chinese dinosaurs with two types of fossilized feathers

Scientists have debated the origin of birds for many years, and the most widely accepted theory is that they evolved from meat-eating dinosaurs. The debate over the relationship between Aves (birds) and Theropod (carnivorous) dinosaurs is actually quite old, the first papers discussing the subject being published in Victorian times. John Ostrom, Distinguished Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology at Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, published a number of papers analyzing the evolution of flight. For John Ostrom, the widespread belief at the time that a sluggish, overgrown reptile was the typical appearance of a dinosaur simply did not reflect the evidence in the fossil record. He was a driving force in the “Dinosaur Renaissance” of the early 1970s, depicting dinosaurs as perfectly adapted, active, agile and energetic animals.

Historic Moment in Modern Paleontology

His description of the Dromaeosaur Deinonychus (Deinonychus antirrhopus) is considered one of the milestones in the history of modern paleontology. Now thanks to the amazing fossil discoveries of Liaoning in China, paleontologists have a number of fossil specimens of various feathered dinosaurs that imply an evolutionary connection between small theropods and birds.

Feathered dinosaur fossil from China

However, a new report on a particular feathered dinosaur from China, about the same size as Deinonychus, suggests that some dinosaurs may have had a number of different types of feathers adorning their bodies. Some feathers may have been to help insulate them and keep them warm (indicating active warm-blooded animals), while other feathers may have served as decoration to help they attract a mate and signal to others within their herd (or should it be herd). ?

In a published paper on the primitive therizinosaurid (sometimes known as the Segnosaur), Beipiaosaurus, it is said that two distinct types of feathers have been found in the animal’s remains, one for isolation, the other type possibly used to signal a mate, some of the evidence earliest of this type of feather found in the dinosaur fossil record.

Beipiaosaurus – Strange member of the Dinosauria

Beipiaosaurus was named after the city of Beipiao, a city in Liaoning Province in northern China. The first fossils of this dinosaur were discovered in this area in 1996. It was a very unusual looking dinosaur (we often think that Therizinosaurs seem to be made up of a mixture of different animal parts):

Beipiaosaurus was approximately 2-3 meters tall, heavily built, and a plant-eater. The fossils date from the middle Cretaceous period (Aptian faunal phase), approximately 120 million years ago. Beipiaosaurus had a relatively large head for a Therizinosaur (later animals such as Nothronychus had proportionally smaller heads), a long neck, and a broad body. The leg bones are longer than the thigh bones and this dinosaur had three toed feet. Scientists have identified thin, proto-feathers associated with fossils of this dinosaur, but the discovery of elongated, broad, filamentous feathers has excited paleontologists, who believed such coverings existed but had rarely found traces of them.

It is believed that dinosaurs had these broad and visible feathers at some point in the past, because more advanced forms have already been discovered in dinosaur remains.

Ancient feathers

The primitive feathers in Beipiaosaurus are similar to the earliest forms seen in ancient birds. The fossil remains of Beipiaosaurus are approximately 25 million years younger than the fossils of Archaeopteryx, the earliest bird yet discovered. There are similarities between the broader, filamentous feathers in Beipiaosaurus and those of Archeopteryx. If scientists are correct in their assumption that birds evolved from theropods, then the discovery of similar feathers on Beipiaosaurus proves that dinosaurs had feathers of this type, and there may indeed be other dinosaur fossils that predate Archeopteryx, which would also to show this type of feather. They are waiting to be discovered.

It is interesting, in the report published in the scientific journal “Processes of National Academy of Sciences” by the Chinese research team, their study of the Beipiaosaurus specimen reveals information about where in the animal the different types of feathers grew. Feathers from the animal have been identified in the fossilized remains of half a skeleton, including the head, neck and part of the tail. Those used for communication (broad, filamentous feathers) grew more densely on the back of the neck and at the end of the creature’s tail. Ideal locations for a signaling device. We can imagine a herd of Therizinosaurs nodding at each other like flamingos. Or maybe they gave up their tails to communicate or combined head and tail movements in some kind of dinosaur traffic light. The presence of such feathers will enable scientists to speculate on elements such as animal social interaction, hierarchy and herd behavior, unfortunately hard evidence for this is rarely preserved in the fossil record.

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