The evolutionary history of feathers just got a whole lot fuzzier, reports the BBC. A 130-million-year-old fossil has been found in China with “protofeathers,” leading scientists to believe that one of the two main families of dinosaurs—previously thought to have had scaly hides—may in fact have had fuzzy plumage for warmth and even for colorful peacock-style displays.
"The bad news is that something we thought was neatly wrapped up is now not so neat," said one paleontologist. “We now need to rethink what the coat of the ancestral dinosaurs actually was. But the good news is that we can now look at existing evidence with new eyes—going back to old fossils and asking if there is evidence of any of these filaments.”