This incredibly well-preserved, feather-covered dinosaur tail was found by Beijing-based paleontologist Lida Xing in a northern Myanmar (Burma) amber market. The find is a first: Skeletal material from a dinosaur has never been found in amber before. From National Geographic:
The animal it belonged to would have lived about 99 million years ago. Researchers from China and Canada identify it as a juvenile of some type of coelurosaur, a group that includes birdlike dinosaur species that walked on two legs. But because the bones of the tail are flexible and not fused as in a bird’s tail, the specimen must be a terrestrial dinosaur rather than an actual bird.
The form of the feathers is also different than modern birds, and suggests that the fuzzy covering might have been used for “temperature regulation, camouflage and visual signaling” vs for any kind of flight. Read more about this sparrow-sized creature at The New York Times:Follow this with Dinosaurs Among Us and How did feathers evolve?
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