Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sciurumimus albersdoerferi

So this is pretty big news on the dino-feather front. Sciurumimus albersdoerferi ("squirrel mimic") is the final nail in the coffin for the idea that feathers were limited to the coelurosaurian theropods. Coelurosaurian theropods include the lineage that is currently understood to have given rise to birds. So to find feathers on an immature (28 inches) 150 million year megalosaur from southern Germany suggests that integumentary structures may have evolved independently in the two groups, or, more likely imo, that the common ancestor to the two groups- and perhaps all dinosaurus- had integumentary structures. Now we just need to find sauropod and hadrosaurs with "dinofuzz"- perhaps at the hatchling stage.

Sciurumimus albersdoerferi illustration by author. I'm gonna try and do more of my own illustrations because the "wild west" days of the web are ending and I can't just steal images willy-nilly anymore.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Pterosaurs had some sort of "fur" covering their bodies. Might this suggest some proto-feather in the common ancestor of pterosaurs and dinosaurs?

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