As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

New species of bird-like dinosaur discovered in China

A team of paleontologists in China have discovered a new species of feathered dinosaur that roamed the earth around 125 million years ago.

The three-feet fossilised skeleton, named Jianianhualong tengi, is a troodontidae -- a family of bird-like theropod dinosaurs.

The species had large feathers on the fore limbs, hind limbs and tail suggesting that the closest common ancestor of birds and bird-like dinosaurs had asymmetric feathers, extending their earliest record deeper in time, the researchers said, in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

The feathers on the tail had a frond-like arrangement, similar to the genus of bird-like dinosaurs -- Microraptor, Anchiornis and Archaeoptery.

The tail feathers were also asymmetric, with one side of the feather vane noticeably wider than the other.

"This indicates the closest common ancestor of birds and bird like dinosaurs had asymmetric feathers, extending their earliest record deeper in time," lead author Michael Pittman, Earth scientist at the University of Hong Kong, was quoted as saying to the dailymail.com.

"This study therefore makes important steps towards reconstructing the early evolution and function of asymmetric feathers," Pittman added.



Continued

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