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.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

It's Official: Those Flying Reptiles Called Pterosaurs Were Covered in Fluffy Feathers

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | December 17, 2018 02:22pm ET

There's no doubt anymore: Pterosaurs — the flying reptiles that zipped through the skies during the dinosaur age — sported feathers, a finding that pushes the origin of these fluffy structures back 70 million years.

An analysis of two well-preserved pterosaur specimens found in China revealed that these beasts had four completely different feather types, researchers said in a study published online today (Dec. 17) in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolultion.

"The pterosaurs had four types of feather-like structures: simple filaments ('hairs'), bundles of filaments, filaments with a tuft halfway down and down feathers," study lead researcher Baoyu Jiang, a professor of paleontology in the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at Nanjing University in China, told Live Science in an email. [Photos of Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs]

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