Tuesday, July 03, 2012

More Feathered Dinosaurs

Science Daily has a story on the discovery of more feathered dinosaurs. From down in the story:
Theropods are bipedal, mostly carnivorous dinosaurs. In recent years, scientists have discovered that many extinct theropods had feathers. But this feathering has only been found in theropods that are classified as coelurosaurs, a diverse group including animals like T. rex and birds. Sciurumimus -- identified as a megalosaur, not a coelurosaur -- is the first exception to this rule. The new species also sits deep within the evolutionary tree of theropods, much more so than coelurosaurs, meaning that the species that stem from Sciurumimus are likely to have similar characteristics.
Once again, we are seeing that, in response to changing climate, some dinosaurs are evolving feathers to keep warm. The writer alludes to this at the end of the quote. It is likely that the ancestors of both branches of theropods will have rudimentary feathers. The coelurosaurs simply took it and ran with it.

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