[N] 2002 True feathered dinosaur
Dinosaurs covered with a feather-like fluff known as proto feathers like Caudipteryx and Protarchaeopteryx are known for some time now, but recently a new fossil of a dromaeosaur that was found in northeastern China’s Liaoning Province revealed evidence that some dinosaurs have been covered with true feathers, like those we see on modern birds. The new dromaeosaur which is just under a metre long, is the first non-flying dinosaur to be found with such modern-looking feathers and suggests that modern feathers evolved before the emergence of birds and flight. According to Dr Mark Norrell the dromaeosaur discovery has major implications for our understanding of dinosaurs and changes our perspective on what dinosaurs were.
The authencity of the specimen is questioned, and some scientists are calling for a CAT scan to determine whether the entire fossil slab comes from the same source. However Norell doesn’t see any reason to do so because according to him the specimen clearly isn’t pieced together and the scientist that work on it had both part and counterpart that refers to both the top and bottom, or both sides of the fossil slab.
According to Fabio Marco Dalla Vecchia there is a second similar specimen in Italy on exhibit in the town of Ancona the next May and June labelled \\\\\\\"feathered dromaeosaur, genus and species not determined\\\\\\\" (Dromeosauro piumato – genere e specie non determinati) that is nearly surely a chimera (i.e. a composite specimen) however its not as yet studied in detail.
Norell, M., Ji, Q., Gao, K., Yuan, C., Zhao, I. & Wang, L. (2002).
Palaeontology: \\\\\\\'Modern\\\\\\\' feathers on a non-avian dinosaur. Nature 416: 36-37.