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Still Waters

New discovery pushes origin of feathers back

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Still Waters

An international team of palaeontologists, which includes the University of Bristol, has discovered that the flying reptiles, pterosaurs, actually had four kinds of feathers, and these are shared with dinosaurs - pushing back the origin of feathers by some 70 million years.

Pterosaurs are the flying reptiles that lived side by side with dinosaurs, 230 to 66 million years ago. It has long been known that pterosaurs had some sort of furry covering often called 'pycnofibres', and it was presumed that it was fundamentally different to feathers of dinosaurs and birds.

In a new work published today in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, a team from Nanjing, Bristol, Cork, Beijing, Dublin, and Hong Kong show that pterosaurs had at least four types of feathers:

https://phys.org/news/2018-12-discovery-feathers-million-years.html

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Carnoferox

Although the homology between pterosaur pycnofibres and dinosaur feathers has been suspected for awhile, it's amazing to finally see suporting evdience for this.

Edited by Carnoferox

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