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Dinos molted for a new look

In one species, feathers change with age

By
12:43pm, April 28, 2010

Like kids today who don’t want to dress like Mom and Dad, some young feathered dinosaurs sported a look totally unlike their elders, a new study shows.

The finding hints that feathered dinosaurs, like modern birds, molted as they grew, says study coauthor Xing Xu, a paleontologist at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing.

The dramatic, age-related shift in plumage was noted in newly described fossils of Similicaudipteryx, a feathered creature that lived in what is now China about 125 million years ago. Xu and his colleagues analyzed two well preserved specimens of Similicaudipteyrx a

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