Dino feathers may have had earlier origin than thought | Science News

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Dino feathers may have had earlier origin than thought

Hairlike filaments found on 'wrong' side of dino family tree

By
1:03pm, March 18, 2009

Filaments preserved in newly described fossils hint that feathers, one hallmark of modern-day birds, may have originated from structures present on some of the earliest dinosaur species.

The fossil record indicates that feathers, besides covering all of today’s birds, also graced many an ancient dinosaur, says Hai-Lu You, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing. Many research teams have found a variety of simpler structures — including peculiar, branched structures that paleontologists often call “dinofuzz,” as well as single unbranched filaments — on other fossils, he note

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