Feathered dinosaurs may have been the rule, not the exception | Science News

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Feathered dinosaurs may have been the rule, not the exception

Newly discovered plant-eating species wore both scales and plumes

2:00pm, July 24, 2014

FULL OF FEATHERS  A feathered dinosaur only distantly related to birds, shown in an illustration, suggests that plumage may have been much more common among dinosaurs than scientists suspected.

Dinosaurs may have all bundled up in flashy feather coats.

The skulls and bones of a new dinosaur species unearthed in Siberia support what some scientists have suspected: Dinosaurs with feathers were probably the norm.

“For the first time we have a feathered dinosaur that is far from the lineage leading to birds,” says study author Pascal Godefroit, a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. “It means that all dinosaurs were potentially covered by feathers.”

Paleontologists had previously dug up fossil evidence of feathers that adorned dinolike birds of the Archaeopteryx genus and other more ancient avian ancestors. These include one dinosaur recently discovered to have a fluffy, feathery tail. Its finders held the creature as proof that every dinosaur could have worn feathers (SN Online: 7/2/12). But

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