Dino Fossil Solves Mystery

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Up till now, scientists assumed not many feathered dinosaurs had existed, other than those closely related to birds.

Up till now, scientists assumed not many feathered dinosaurs had existed, other than those closely related to birds. In July 2012, a skeleton and fossil unearthed in Germany may change the way we think about dinosaurs. With UV vision, the remains indicated that the Dino once had a shaggy coat and fuzzy tail. Feathered Dinos had been discovered before, but previous ones were Coelurosaurs, a type of Dinosaurs closely related to birds (therefore the feathers). Megalosaurs (such as the new-found fossil), are only distantly related to birds.

 

 The fossil itself includes a clear vision of the head, body, and a tail belonging to a type of meat-eating dinosaur called Megalosaur. The remains of it's skeletons suggest that this Dino was a very young one – only 70 centimeters long. Scientists have scientifically named this new species Sciurumimus Albersdoerferi (squirrel-mimic). Many wonder if modern birds have evolved from dinosaurs. However, feathers aren't the only reason researchers are celebrating this new fossil.

 

Showing an arched back, open mouth, and curved tail, the entire remains show very clearly what the dinosaur once looked like. Some bones aren't broken and some have dinosaur flesh on them. The dinosaur's plumage looks more like hair and scientists call these structures prototypes. Even though they differ in appearance from the feathers on modern birds – they are made from the same material. Researchers hope to learn the color feathers adorned the young Megalosaurs, but to find out, they'll have to break off parts of the fossil to analyze and conclude.

 

If you're a paleontologist, that's about the last thing you would want to do with the nearly-perfect specimen. Credit goes to SSP (Society for Science & the Public).