Monday, October 27, 2008
Science News / Shaking Its Tail Feathers: "There’s a new dinosaur at the base of the bird family tree. It lived between 152 million and 168 million years ago in what is now northern China. A previously unseen type of feather covered the body and limbs of this pigeon-sized creature, says Fucheng Zhang of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing. Those structures were too short and of the wrong design to have functioned as flight feathers, he says. The creature also sported four long, ribbon-like feathers on its tail, Zhang and his colleagues report in the Oct. 23 Nature. Because those tail feathers probably wouldn’t have served as flight feathers or as insulation, these researchers dubbed the creature Epidexipteryx hui, whose genus name comes from the Greek words for “display feather.” The newly described reptile lived at least 2 million years before Archaeopteryx, the first known bird. — Sid Perkins Credit: Z. Chuang and X. Lida"
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
Posted by SM Schwartz at 11:45 AM