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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the tyrannosaurus-big-bird dept.

Science 139

A new study published in Science (abstract) suggests that most dinosaurs were covered with feathers. This conclusion was drawn after the discovery of fossils belonging to a 1.5-meter-long, two-legged dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. "The fossils, which included six skulls and many more bones, greatly broaden the number of families of dinosaurs sporting feathers—downy, ribboned, and thin ones in this case—indicating that plumes evolved from the scales that covered earlier reptiles, probably as insulation." Its distinctiveness from earlier theropod fossil discoveries suggests that feathered dinosaurs appeared much further back in history than previously thought. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte said, "This does mean that we can now be very confident that feathers weren't just an invention of birds and their closest relatives, but evolved much deeper in dinosaur history. I think that the common ancestor of dinosaurs probably had feathers, and that all dinosaurs had some type of feather, just like all mammals have some type of hair."

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Whelp. (5, Funny)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | about 2 months ago | (#47532729)

Time to remake Jurassic Park. And while he's at it, Speilberg can change all the guns to flashlights!

Re:Whelp. (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 months ago | (#47532809)

Time to remake Jurassic Park. And while he's at it, Speilberg can change all the guns to flashlights!

Nah, with all the T-Rexes looking like chickens it just won't be the same... although... just imagine the Kentucky fired drumsticks.

Re:Whelp. (3, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47532879)

You think a T-Rex "chicken" wouldn't be scary? Imagine a 15 foot tall, 40 foot long bird of prey with a 4 foot jaw and 9 inch long teeth. Your average adult human would be finger food - a bite or two and then gone. This gets even more terrifying if you imagine them as giant cockatoos (and if you know how nasty cockatoos can be).

Re:Whelp. (1)

es330td (964170) | about 2 months ago | (#47533159)

My son (currently 6) is obsessed with a creature called the Terror Bird [wikipedia.org] . Standing ten feet tall they were apex predators in South America. I would be plenty scared of a meat eating bird that big.

Re:Whelp. (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47533369)

My 6 year old son is also obsessed with the terror bird and we watch the Nova thing where they squish a lump of jelly in mechanical terror bird jaws about once a week.

Re:Whelp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533773)

This 'Terror Bird' looks just like a Chocobo!

I wanna ride! Do they come in Yellow?

Re:Whelp. (4, Funny)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47533387)

A T. rex wouldn't consider an adult human "finger food" because it doesn't know it has fingers, silly.

Re:Whelp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533505)

It gets far less terrifying when you realize that those 9-inch long teeth are there to gnaw on the 50-foot tall ferns, and not anything made of meat.

Once upon a time, pandas were assumed to be meat-eaters because of their teeth. Now we know that they eat bamboo.

Just having big sharp teeth doesn't make something a meat-eater.

Re:Whelp. (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 months ago | (#47533801)

You think a T-Rex "chicken" wouldn't be scary?

And imagine what a Jurassic geek (*) would look like.

(*) geek: a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken.

Re:Whelp. (5, Interesting)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 2 months ago | (#47533873)

You think a T-Rex "chicken" wouldn't be scary? Imagine a 15 foot tall, 40 foot long bird of prey with a 4 foot jaw and 9 inch long teeth. Your average adult human would be finger food - a bite or two and then gone. This gets even more terrifying if you imagine them as giant cockatoos (and if you know how nasty cockatoos can be).

I worked a good many years in an exotic pet store. My area of expertise was reptiles and, in my time, i was bitten by all manner of things that most people don't want to get bitten by. Of all the animals i would deal with, the birds were the things that really terrified me.

Reptiles, yeah, you gotta repect them, esspecially the highly venemous ones. But, they are predictable and easily outsmarted. Birds can be fierce opponents. They are intelligence combined with effective weapons. They can deduce it's better to ignore the leather glove and aim for the exposed forearm. There was one macaw that i swear would pretend to be nice just to lull me into a vulnerable position.

Not a day goes by that i'm not thankful that i live in a world where i only have to worry about sharks, big cats, bears, wolves, and reptiles. I would be terrified having to worry about a bird that might get me.

Re:Whelp. (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 2 months ago | (#47534049)

I have an African Grey, I've seen him humble a pit bull.

Re:Whelp. (1)

Rakarra (112805) | about 2 months ago | (#47535095)

I have an African Grey, I've seen him humble a pit bull.

Was it with his withering sarcasm?

(African Greys are quite chatty and very intelligent, for those unfamiliar with the breed).

Re:Whelp. (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47534289)

in jurassic russia, giant chicken eats YOU!

Re:Whelp. (1)

jaided (531853) | about 2 months ago | (#47534579)

Your average adult human would be finger food - a bite or two and then gone..

I'm fairly sure that "Human McNuggets" is the Palaeontological term for this.

Re:Whelp. (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 months ago | (#47534647)

Imagine a 15 foot tall, 40 foot long bird of prey with a 4 foot jaw and 9 inch long teeth.

You wanna watch how you talk about my wife.

Re:Whelp. (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 months ago | (#47534773)

Sheldon would be so terrified...

Re:Whelp. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47533033)

Time to remake Jurassic Park. And while he's at it, Speilberg can change all the guns to flashlights!

Nah, with all the T-Rexes looking like chickens it just won't be the same... although... just imagine the Kentucky fired drumsticks.

...but having the T-Rexes looking like chickens, and changing their roar to something less intimidating [youtube.com] would fit well with changing all the guns to flashlights.

Re:Whelp. (3, Funny)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 2 months ago | (#47533147)

I'm trying to imagine a deep, chest rumbling, fear inducing, "BOKKKKK"


Nope.

Re:Whelp. (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47533395)

Clowns are scary.

Just sayin'

Re:Whelp. (1)

kencurry (471519) | about 2 months ago | (#47533229)

fat kid: "... a 6-ft tall turkey, big deal!"

Dr. Grant: "...just remember, you are alive when they start to eat you, so try to show a little respect, okay?"

Re:Whelp. (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 2 months ago | (#47533455)

I wonder how much resistance a theory like this gets just because feathered dinosaurs wouldn't look nearly as cool as the ones we see pictured today? The emotional part of my brain finds itself not wanting to spoil my childhood images of what dinosaurs looked like by pasting silly-looking feathers all over them, even while the intellectual part is berating it for being silly. I suppose it's the same sort of phenomenon as the outcry over Pluto being "demoted" from planet status. Humans are funny.

Re:Whelp. (2)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | about 2 months ago | (#47533541)

You can always take the So Long and Thanks for All the Fish view:

Mrs E. Kapelsen of Boston, Massachusetts was an elderly lady, indeed, she felt her life was nearly at an end. She had seen a lot of it, been puzzled by some, but, she was a little uneasy to feel at this late stage, bored by too much. It had all been very pleasant, but perhaps a little too explicable, a little too routine.

With a sigh she flipped up the little plastic window shutter and looked out over the wing.

At first she thought she ought to call the stewardess, but then she thought no, damn it, definitely not, this was for her, and her alone.

By the time her two inexplicable people finally slipped back off the wing and tumbled into the slipstream she had cheered up an awful lot.

She was mostly immensely relieved to think that virtually everything that anybody had ever told her was wrong.

Or the obligatory: http://xkcd.com/1104/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Whelp. (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 2 months ago | (#47533571)

I was pretty confused when suddenly dinosaurs were considered to have been all sorts of different colours. When I was a kid they were pretty much green, greyish or brown depending on the illustration. Now they are thought to have been orange, purple, blue etc. AND covered in feathers! What next! I know. They could talk, and sing and dance. Yes!

Re:Whelp. (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | about 2 months ago | (#47534279)

I wonder how much resistance a theory like this gets just because feathered dinosaurs wouldn't look nearly as cool as the ones we see pictured today?

For me, the resistance comes when I look at the large reptiles of today which are descended from dinosaurs.They don't have feathers.

Re:Whelp. (2)

radtea (464814) | about 2 months ago | (#47534355)

For me, the resistance comes when I look at the large reptiles of today which are descended from dinosaurs.They don't have feathers.

Which large reptiles are those? And which dinosaurs are they descended from? And how did dinosaurs, which were all killed at the KT boundary, manage to have descendents?

Dinosaurs are reptiles with their legs under their bodies. This makes them distinct from other reptiles (the kinds we have today, which are not descended from dinosaurs) which have their legs off to the side.

Mammals also managed the legs-under-the-body trick, and birds (which are descended from dinosaurs, unlike all modern reptiles, none of which are descended from dinosaurs, what with dinosaurs all being extinct without issue at the KT boundary.)

Re:Whelp. (1)

the gnat (153162) | about 2 months ago | (#47534363)

large reptiles of today which are descended from dinosaurs.

Uh, nope. Crocodilians for certain predate dinosaurs and evolved in parallel. I'm pretty sure the other big lizards did too.

Re:Whelp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534395)

Humm... the only descendant of dinosaurs are birds. Modern reptiles are not as illustrated for example in the dinosaur familly tree shown in http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/11/23/3073903.htm

Re:Whelp. (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47534317)

i dont know, I think feathered dinos can look much cooler than the original reptillian dinos. just look at The comparison of the raptor from the reptillian view to the feathered renditions now

Re:Whelp. (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 months ago | (#47534759)

I wonder how much resistance a theory like this gets just because feathered dinosaurs wouldn't look nearly as cool as the ones we see pictured today? The emotional part of my brain finds itself not wanting to spoil my childhood images of what dinosaurs looked like by pasting silly-looking feathers all over them, even while the intellectual part is berating it for being silly. I suppose it's the same sort of phenomenon as the outcry over Pluto being "demoted" from planet status. Humans are funny.

If anything they'd look cooler with feathers. It also explains a whole lot, like how they were able to survive in the Arctic.

Re:Whelp. (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 months ago | (#47534973)

What happened to Slashdot lately?

There's a xkcd for that: http://xkcd.com/1104/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Whelp. (1)

X-Ray Artist (1784416) | about 2 months ago | (#47533465)

Imagine the size of the Beer Can to barbecue it!!

Re:Whelp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533715)

Actually I imagine a t-rex, and other larger dinosaurs, would only have very thin feathers to appear pretty much featherless. Just as elephants and rhinos appear almost hairless from a distance, and for the same reason.

Elephants would overheat with a thick layer of fur like mammoths had, because of the climate they now live in. Since the earth was hotter than it is now during the time of the dinosaurs, it's almost certain many of them (even some of the smaller ones) had only thin feathers and visually appeared very similar to how we know them from classic depictions.

So, no chicken-t-rex.

Re:Whelp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47532943)

pfft, time to make jurassic park

lunch would be easy, to hell with pig roasts

Re:Whelp. (1)

tont0r (868535) | about 2 months ago | (#47532955)

Time to remake Jurassic Park. And while he's at it, Speilberg can change all the guns to flashlights!

That doesnt sound very scary. Sounds more like... a six foot turkey!

Re:Whelp. (2)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | about 2 months ago | (#47533247)

Light heeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr. LIGHT HEEEERRRRRRRR.

Re: Whelp. (1)

raind (174356) | about 2 months ago | (#47533451)

Time to remake the creation story as well.

Re:Whelp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533567)

The feathered edition!

Dang... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 months ago | (#47532731)

This means we'll have to redraw 200 years worth of artwork...

Re:Dang... (5, Funny)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 months ago | (#47532863)

Not to mention the modifications we have to make to the creationist parks.

Re:Dang... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47532941)

Interesting. Science is wrong, and "creationist parks" get the blame.

Did you even have anything in particular in mind that needs to be changed, or just random goalless snark?

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533073)

Which god myth do you pick as being "right" for you? How did you pick it?

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533101)

Asked, got direct empirical proof in response.

Tested it, in other words.

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533221)

I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533297)

Likewise.

Re:Dang... (1)

Brain-Fu (1274756) | about 2 months ago | (#47533535)

That is interesting. Could you provide more details about this test you performed, and precisely the results?

If the test can be recreated, and the results demonstrated to logically support the conclusion, then you will have just revolutionized the foundations of the modern scientific world view. You stand to become quite wealthy and famous, and to win a Nobel prize.

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533793)

I have no intention, nor any necessity, to doing any of the above.

That fact in no way impacts what a "test" is, or what the results were for me.

Re:Dang... (2)

bmxeroh (1694004) | about 2 months ago | (#47533983)

That's what we thought. You can go lie back down now.

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534059)

And contemplate that one of us is guaranteed to do so permanently, by his own admission, and thus be irrelevant in every possible way, not just with that post.

And you don't speak for "we."

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534457)

And contemplate that one of us is guaranteed to do so permanently, by his own admission, and thus be irrelevant in every possible way, not just with that post.

And you don't speak for "we."

trololololololol

It's ok, some day you'll be dead and gone, just like everyone else ever. Believe in whichever deity you want, you're wrong.

Assuming you are Christian (1)

Brain-Fu (1274756) | about 2 months ago | (#47534625)

I timothy 2:3-4: "This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

(see also 2 Peter 3:9)

So...God wants us to be saved, but you don't? You have in your hands an irrefutable test that will bring us all to knowledge of the truth (and hence salvation) and yet you are refusing to give it to us? Don't you want to please God by furthering his desires (that we all might be saved)? Are you not humble enough to think that God gave you this test to make you an instrument for His purposes (saving us)?

How about 1 Corinthians 13:2 "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."

You don't love us enough to share your proof of God with us and save us? According to Paul, then, you are nothing, even though you can "fathom all mysteries."

Methinks your statements betray spite and arrogance. Jesus did not say very nice things about people like you.

Re:Assuming you are Christian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47535063)

What did he say about people like you?

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533481)

I would like to give a serious response.

The philosophical concept of the "ground of being" is one that atheists can accept, as the concept does not necessarily impose any attributes upon this ground of being. It is simply a mental representation of the ultimate organizational (and/or substantive) principle atop which all of existence stands. It is the turtle at the bottom of the stack, as it were.

To a physicalist, the ground of being would probably be the laws of physics and/or the essential substances (quarks, or strings, or whatever) that obey these laws, and/or the space in which they move (I am not enough of a scientist to know this, but as I understand the best science of our day suggests that what we think of as matter is really just a side effect of the interplay between various type of field...or something like that....so these fields would be the ground of being).

To an idealist, the ground of being is awareness itself (in a pure form that is very far removed from our ordinary experience thereof).

A physicalist would say that the ground of being is not alive, and that it does not care, that it is pure mechanism and nothing more. An idealist would say that the ground of being is not only alive, but is the most essential and unadultered element of what life is.

Both of these opinions are just that: opinions. While there is no disagreement that there is a ground of being, those who contemplate it allow their intuitions/biases to shape their preferred concepts for describing it. These concepts are myths either way.

My preferred myth: the ground of being is non-individualized awareness (think Buddhism). My understanding of the word "God": the ground of being symbolically anthropomorphized so that we would have a conceptual means of relating to it.

I think this "God myth" is right for me, as it satisfies both my intellectual and spiritual inclinations. How did I pick it? Largely by studying philosophy and allowing my learning to reshape the religious ideas that I was taught as a child.

How about you....what are your answers to these questions?

Re:Dang... (1)

narcc (412956) | about 2 months ago | (#47534745)

For the TL;DR crowd - Go read some Paul Tillich

Re:Dang... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533333)

Well, inasmuch as some creationist artwork that appears at these parks includes dinosaurs, and inasmuch as those paintings show them as featherless and covered in scales, those images will need to be repainted if they are to accurately reflect the modern conception of how a dinosaur probably looked.

I don't believe there are any scriptures that would disallow for feathered dinosaurs, so there shouldn't be any problem with this. Though, the claim made by some believers that man and dinosaur lived at the same time, and very recently at that, remains scientifically unsound.

Re:Dang... (2)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 2 months ago | (#47533527)

You evidently don't understand what science is. Science is "right", because the point is that falsehoods are verifiable, and the established truths are verified by the process of peer review. Science is also getting more "right" with each new discovery. This discovery doesn't invalidate previous discoveries: it bolsters them, and adds new information.

We used to think the Earth was the center of the Universe. New discoveries led to new insights. These changes to the scientific understanding didn't change the model of the motion of planets across the sky. It helped improve them.

Conversely, I don't see anyone blaming creationist parks.

There are also museums of natural history dotted around the world, which collectively contain (I would say) tens of thousands of models, which would either have to be replaced or reworked, or reinterpreted as being an artefact of an earlier, less complete understanding.

Re:Dang... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 months ago | (#47533853)

You evidently don't understand what science is. Science is "right", because the point is that falsehoods are verifiable, and the established truths are verified by the process of peer review. Science is also getting more "right" with each new discovery. This discovery doesn't invalidate previous discoveries: it bolsters them, and adds new information.

We used to think the Earth was the center of the Universe. New discoveries led to new insights. These changes to the scientific understanding didn't change the model of the motion of planets across the sky. It helped improve them.

Conversely, I don't see anyone blaming creationist parks.

There are also museums of natural history dotted around the world, which collectively contain (I would say) tens of thousands of models, which would either have to be replaced or reworked, or reinterpreted as being an artefact of an earlier, less complete understanding.

Say what? There is very little in science that is right. Take the atom, if we accept what we know today about it, then pretty much everything for the last century or two is wrong. Same with dinosaurs. If they were all covered in feathers, then what we knew about them before is wrong.

If scientific ideas really were right, then there wouldn't be changes in understanding. Such a concept wouldn't make sense. Math is right or wrong. 2+2 = 4 is either right or it is not. Our understanding of higher mathematics doesn't change our understanding of prior concepts. Science, for the most part is applied mathematics. How we apply math may not be right and therefore the scientific theory is wrong. That is why science uses models, which again, are mathematical. If enough models point to the same conclusion, then the probability of the science being wrong is reduced. If it is reduced enough, then it is no longer theory but fact.

Creationists have their theory on how the world came about and so do evolutionists. There are more models to support the scientific theory, but even then, there are something like 35 competing theories of evolution. So, until we can refine the models to narrow the results, all we can say is that we know evolution occurs, but we don't really know how. That's not a lot different from what the creationists say.

For the record, I disagree with the creationists. However, if one wants to be totally objective (or at least minimize biases), one has to admit that science doesn't always have the answers. The idea that science can eventually explain everything is as an untestable hypothesis as a deity creating everything. Neither can be proven.

BTW, science is not about proving falsehoods wrong. It is about describing the world/universe around us and doing so with greater and greater precision. Quantum theory states that everything is based on probability. The goal of science is, in any field, is to refine the methodology so that the probability increases that what is modeled most likely represents what is actual.

Re:Dang... (2)

the gnat (153162) | about 2 months ago | (#47534427)

There are more models to support the scientific theory, but even then, there are something like 35 competing theories of evolution.

Possibly, but the general concept isn't even remotely controversial (at least among actual scientists). Especially the theory that humans and apes have a common ancestor, which is simultaneously the most minimal example of evolution, and the one that seems to upset people the most.

However, if one wants to be totally objective (or at least minimize biases), one has to admit that science doesn't always have the answers. The idea that science can eventually explain everything is as an untestable hypothesis as a deity creating everything. Neither can be proven.

The predictive ability of science - and the number of things it explains - does continue to improve over time, however. The same cannot be said of religion. Or, put another way, science is capable of changing as new evidence is obtained, as exemplified by this article. The Bible, however, is immutable, and the literalists have to resort to increasingly contorted explanations for how the Genesis account could be factually correct.

Re:Dang... (0)

Empiric (675968) | about 2 months ago | (#47534545)

"The Bible, however, is immutable, and the literalists have to resort to increasingly contorted explanations for how the Genesis account could be factually correct."

Good parroting of the popular Dawkins-driven line, but simply vastly historically incorrect as the sequence of events. Origen of Alexandria (one of the "Fathers of the Church", that is, one shaping core positions at the very earliest foundation of Christianity) was arguing for allegorical interpretation of Genesis in the second century A.D.

The notion that science comes along and "shows religion incorrect" is fanciful nonsense. It may show particular interpretations to be so, but compatible ones have existed from the start. In fact, the majority of those founding all branches of the sciences were theists.

Here's a few. You probably will recognize quite a few of them, particularly starting with with the "1701-" section.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Dang... (2)

the gnat (153162) | about 2 months ago | (#47534459)

Science is wrong

That's a bit of an exaggeration. Science was incomplete, in the sense that our assumptions about the appearance of dinosaurs were based on limited fossil evidence (and analogies to modern lizards rather than birds). And the raw evidence wasn't even "wrong", it was totally valid - only our interpretations were incorrect. Now we have new evidence, which is being incorporated into how we think about dinosaurs. When was the last time that anything was added to the Bible?

Re:Dang... (3, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | about 2 months ago | (#47535075)

Interesting. Science is wrong, and "creationist parks" get the blame.

Hmmm ... This isn't really a case of scientists being wrong. The old images of dinosaurs have generally been "artists' interpretations" of the evidence, and scientists generally agreed that they had little evidence of the outer appearance of dinosaurs. Skin and other soft tissues don't fossilize too well, and we haven't had many samples until recently.

And the idea that birds are close relatives of or descended from dinosaurs isn't new. It was suggested by none other than Charles Darwin himself, based on similarities in the skeletons. Many of his colleagues agreed, but they even more agreed with the reply "Yeah, that's certainly interesting; can you find us some better evidence?" The situation stayed that way until the 1970s or so, because birds don't fossilize well. New fossil discoveries finally supplied enough evidence so that in the 1980s, the birds got officially reclassified as a branch of the dinosaurs.

But it was still well understood that there were a lot of loose ends, and Further Research Is Needed. Were feathers a development of the birds, for flight? Or had their non-flying ancestors had feathers, perhaps for insulation? The evidence wasn't nearly good enough, and it was left as an open question. Over the past decade or so, the evidence has trickled in, and this report seems to be filling in the gap. People who've followed the story aren't surprised; they're just happy to read about the evidence.

In any case, it never was a case of "Scientists thought that dinosaurs didn't have any sort of fur or feathers, but they've been proven wrong". It was more like "We didn't have the evidence, since feathers don't fossilize well, and now we've collected enough evidence that we can be pretty sure that those old artistic interpretations reptilian dinosaurs with bare skin were inaccurate; most of them (except the largest) probably did have feathers." This isn't considered a criticism of the artists, of course, since they didn't have evidence either, and many of them stated repeatedly that most of their drawings included a large shovel-full of conjecture. It was expected that, as evidence trickled in, they'd have to revise their drawings a lot.

But it likely is a good example of non-scientists saying "Scientists proved wrong" when the scientific data goes from "we don't really know ..." to "we've found the evidence ...". This is sorta the flip side of the constant "Those scientists just wasted time and money doing research to prove something that we knew all along" comments from people who have little understanding of what science is all about (and have always "known" things based on no evidence at all).

(Actually, since I first read about this topic back in the 1970s, I've been rooting for the tyrannosaurs having big, colorful cockatoo-like crowns of feathers. But that's just me, and I'm still waiting. But I won't be surprised either way. ;-)

Re:Dang... (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 months ago | (#47533049)

This means we'll have to redraw 200 years worth of artwork...

And redo other things.... The phrase "Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus of a feather flock together." doesn't really roll off the tongue.

Wish bone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47532763)

I remember hearing once that if the first dinosaurs discovered had wishbones we would have never said they went extinct. We would have said they were a past generation of birds that died off.

In your... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47532807)

In your face Jurassic Park!

Rather broad leap.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47532855)

Find some more feathered fossils and conclude that ALL dinosaurs probably had feathers.

I propose that a heck of a lot more digging and research is necessary before anyone starts putting that in print.

Rather broad leap.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533185)

For those of us who have been following the literature on the subject, this doesn't really come as a surprise. Rather than that this fossil shows that all/most dinosaurs had feathers where we previously assumed this to be the case only for some groups, this fossil is a confirmation of the already commonly held view (in the field) that feathers were to all probability basal in dinosaurs.

Re:Rather broad leap.. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 months ago | (#47533575)

Find some more feathered fossils and conclude that ALL dinosaurs probably had feathers.

It makes a little more sense to conclude something like that when the fossils are very old and of a different lineage than other feathered dinosaurs. The Guardian article does a much better job at explaining the reasoning than the NatGeo article.

Re:Rather broad leap.. (4, Insightful)

KeithJM (1024071) | about 2 months ago | (#47533915)

It's a broad leap, but they didn't just find some random feathered fossils. They found fossils of various species that shared an ancestor very early in the dinosaur line. So it would be like discovering that Humans, Orangutans and Gorillas all had something in common (like a particular lobe of the brain) that we had previously thought only humans had. It would imply the there is a good chance Chimpanzees have it too, because it seems likely to be inherited from that early shared ancestor. They could be wrong, and each of those lines of dinosaurs could have evolved feathers separately. But it's not just a random conclusion.

If it quacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47532859)

Sure. Sauropods float like a duck.

Re:If it quacks (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 months ago | (#47533227)

If she weighs the same as a duck.... she's made of wood!

Re:If it quacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533899)

...and therefore...A WITCH!!!

Re:If it quacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533253)

Sure. Sauropods float like a duck.

Burn them!

Wow, amazing... (0)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 2 months ago | (#47532935)

Pre-historic animals in Siberia mutated to grow feathers and withstand the blistering cold. That's called evolution. It still doesn't mean all dinossaurs were feathered. I bet in Australia they wore bathing suits.

Re:Wow, amazing... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47533025)

I bet in Australia they wore bathing suits.

And that multi-color sun screen stuff on their noses.

It wasn't blistering cold when Dinosaurs lived (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533029)

It wasn't blistering cold in Sibera when the Dinosaur's lived.

Re:Wow, amazing... (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47533065)

You realize Siberia wasn't above the arctic circle 160million years ago right? Also... the whole planet was a lot hotter.

Re:Wow, amazing... (0)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47534461)

The exact position of the Arctic circle varies from year to year slightly, oscilating across a lattitude difference of about 2 degrees in a cycle that is roughly 40,000 years long. So... how do you figure it wasn't above the arctic circle?

Re:Wow, amazing... (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 2 months ago | (#47534701)

I think he means plate tectonics, as in the land mass that would be Siberia was a lot further south at that point.

Re:Wow, amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533379)

Is there any more you could say to prove just how much of a moron you are?

Re:Wow, amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533421)

Pre-historic animals in Siberia mutated to grow feathers and withstand the blistering cold.

New flash, you're an idiot.

It wasn't cold there when these critters were around.

From the article... (3, Funny)

aerivus (1658465) | about 2 months ago | (#47532945)

What exactly did all these different feathers do? "I don't know; nobody knows for sure," Godefroit says. "These animals couldn't fly, that's all we can tell you."

Of course these dinosaurs couldn't fly; everyone knows that in the late Triassic, the Pterosaurs [wikipedia.org] received a broad-reaching patent titled "Feathery Apparatus for Flight". Regrettably, the patent term length at the time was over one hundred million years.

first thought (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47533057)

The next Jurassic Park could be a lot more interesting.

But probably won't be.

I had a Chuckle (5, Funny)

Phics (934282) | about 2 months ago | (#47533119)

Sounds like the dinosaurs were humiliated backwards... feathered ...then tarred.

Re:I had a Chuckle (4, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 months ago | (#47533205)

At least they weren't gzipped.

Re:I had a Chuckle (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 2 months ago | (#47533389)

Eric Garner probably would not have survived being tarred and feathered either which is probably why the hole thing was outlawed. Unfortunately, Eric didn't understand simple wisdom. NEVER argue with a cop. That is what lawyers are for. Always strive to survive your trip to see a judge. Never talk to a cop. Cops don't specifically set out to kill you, that i just an added bonus. They simply want to excercise their authority over you, which they have. Usually you can recognize cops by their jackboot uniforms and shiny badges and guns. Unfortunately for Eric he was approached by a "plainclothed" thug. He didn't have a chance to run away. Eric was not given a citation for a court appearance. He was just killed, mostly by accident. I mean, I don't know how 4 guys decide to assault someone by accident, but it's not like they al emptied their revolvers in the hope that one or two bullets ould find their target.

Warm blooded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533537)

Wouldn't this bolster the argument that dinosaurs were warm blooded creatures?

Re:Warm blooded (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47534855)

Even cold blooded animals do things to retain warmth and protect themselves from overheating. The distinction between warm and cold blooded [sharksavers.org] isn't all or nothing.

Big Dinos Probably all had Scales (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | about 2 months ago | (#47533725)

What's their definition of "most dinosaurs"? Maybe most as in, there was this one tiny feathered dinosaur that bred like rabbits and was everywhere? And do they mean "had feathers" as in had 3 tiny feathers on the top of a big lizardy dino head? Big dinos almost always had scales from what I've read. And perhaps size is part of is as is seen in recent animals and animals today... larger mammals have far far less fur except during the times of ice ages.

I found a couple of links that show scales, no feathers, of big dinosaurs. All this feather business is just hype.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.... [discovermagazine.com]

The scale-like structures you see on dinosaur skin are known as called tubercles, and resemble the polygonal desiccation cracks that you might see on a dried up mud flat (because we all investigate sedimentary structures

http://www.amnh.org/exhibition... [amnh.org]

Very little dinosaur skin fossilized, so what we know about sauropod skin comes from impressions made when it pressed into mud or sand that then hardened and turned to stone. These impressions show that sauropod skin had small bumps and scales that didn't overlap. Some sauropods had bony growths in the skin called osteoderms. But no sauropods had hair or feathers.

Re:Big Dinos Probably all had Scales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47534027)

They're saying that most dinosaur skin was probably like feathers and scoots than reptile scales.

all? I don't think that word means what you think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533777)

just like all mammals have some type of hair.

Dolphins have hair?

Re:all? I don't think that word means what you thi (2)

netsavior (627338) | about 2 months ago | (#47534243)

yup. [nmmf.org]

T-Rex? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47533833)

So T-Rex might have looked like a giant chicken?

Re:T-Rex? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47534867)

No, it looked like a big freaking monster with feathers and long teeth.

Scales to feathers (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 2 months ago | (#47534149)

I've never understood this idea. Sure at a macroscopic scale there is some resemblance between scales and feathers, but on looking close you get an entirely different structure.

Scales being basically flat plates and feathers being long rods with interconnected hooks on them.

If this story is correct and way more dinosaurs had feathers than previously thought, then why force it?

"Almost all" (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 2 months ago | (#47534617)

Not quite. Sauropods are dinosaurs too and none have been found with feathers that I'm aware of.

Swoop will be happy (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 months ago | (#47534825)

But my guess is the other Dinobots won't like it.

"Me Grimlock no like being bird"

Those crazy scientists! (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 2 months ago | (#47535023)

Next they'll be telling us Pluto isn't a planet. Enough with this revisionism!

And by god if Brontosaurus was good enough for Fred Flintstone, it's good enough for me!
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