'Fantastic' Find Suggests All Dinos Had Feathers
Siberian fossils 'completely changed our vision of dinosaurs': researcher
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2014 2:12 PM CDT
Updated Jul 26, 2014 2:33 PM CDT
This undated handout illustration provided by the American Museum of Natural History shows a Microraptor, based on a fossil from 130 million years ago found in China.   (AP Photo/Mick Ellison, American Museum of Natural History, Science/AAAS)

(Newser) – Dinosaurs were scaly old things, right? Not so much, apparently. A Science study of 150-million-year-old fossils uncovered in Siberia is playing a big role in flipping that perception on its head, suggesting that nearly all dinosaurs actually sprouted feathers. At least five species of feathered dinosaurs have turned up in China over the last 20 years, all belonging to the theropod group of raptors. The latest fossils, however, come from a two-legged dinosaur in the ornithischian group, which National Geographic says accounts for about half of all dinosaurs.

"Probably that means the common ancestor of all dinosaurs had feathers," the study author says. The fossils have "completely changed our vision of dinosaurs," he adds, per the BBC. A paleontologist not involved with the study calls it "fantastic" and says it revealed three types of feather imprints different from those of other feathered dinosaurs as well as those of modern birds: "I don't know" why they had feathers, he says. "These animals couldn't fly, that's all we can tell you." (Read about a dinosaur that did fly—with four wings.)

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Showing 3 of 38 comments
William F. Hagen
Jul 28, 2014 10:20 AM CDT
My guess as to why feathers is they gave better protection against UV light. Animals with only hair were predominantly nocturnal.
Jul 27, 2014 4:31 PM CDT
Old news. Jurassic Park dinos just wouldn't have the same scare value with feathers, tho'.
Jul 27, 2014 10:34 AM CDT
It'd be great to read news summaries that sound like news summaries, rather than the slack and over-familiar adolescent crap that is becoming stock-in-trade here.