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Still Waters

Prehistoric flying reptiles had no feathers?

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Still Waters

The debate about when dinosaurs developed feathers has taken a new turn with a paper refuting earlier claims that feathers were also found on dinosaurs' relatives, the flying reptiles called pterosaurs.

Pterosaur expert Dr. David Unwin from the University of Leicester's Centre for Palaeobiology Research, and Professor Dave Martill, of the University of Portsmouth have examined the evidence that these creatures had feathers and believe they were in fact bald

While this may seem like academic minutiae, it actually has huge palaeontological implications. Feathered pterosaurs would mean that the very earliest feathers first appeared on an ancestor shared by both pterosaurs and dinosaurs, since it is unlikely that something so complex developed separately in two different groups of animals.

https://phys.org/news/2020-09-naked-prehistoric-monsters-evidence-reptiles.html

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Carnoferox

The arguments of this rebuttal paper are extremely poor, and have already been refuted in a counter-rebuttal by the authors of the original paper. Pterosaurs did have branching filaments that are likely homologous with feathers.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-020-01309-8

Quote

In sum, the arguments presented by Unwin and Martill that the branched integumentary structures we described are overlapping or degraded composite fibre-like structures or aktinofibrils are inconsistent with their morphology and ultrastructure and, critically, a complete understanding of the taphonomy of the former. Further, pycnofibres and aktinofibrils co-occur on several specimens and are morphologically distinct, as we have shown. In light of this, the most parsimonious interpretation of the simple and branched integumentary appendages in the anurognathid pterosaurs remains our original conclusion that they are feathers.

 

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Wepwawet

It's difficult to understand why some of these people come up with this sort of nonsense. It's aimost as if they are deliberately ignoring the evidence that the earliest dinosaurs, before they split into various branches, would have had proto feathers. It may well be from the later half of the Jurassic, long after the first dinosaurs appeared, but Kulindadromeus, an ornithischian, sporting three types of proto feather, is proof that basal dinosaurs had protofeathers. At that point we are not far removed from the common ancestor with pterosaurs, who must have been warm blooded and needed insulation.

Edited by Wepwawet
typos and a sense of deja vu
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Hammerclaw

I have no problem with either scenario. I do think that what passed for feathers in Pterosaurs were, probably, distinctly different from those of Avian Dinosaurs.

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the13bats

My favorite dino growing up if it was a dino or even existed was that small feathered lizard fellow

OIP.5dD8mxsG758EvzJnDPUSdwHaE2?pid=Api&d

Seems there was scandal the fossil was fake but then real fossils were found, i never keep up.

 

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Carnoferox
9 hours ago, the13bats said:

My favorite dino growing up if it was a dino or even existed was that small feathered lizard fellow

OIP.5dD8mxsG758EvzJnDPUSdwHaE2?pid=Api&d

Seems there was scandal the fossil was fake but then real fossils were found, i never keep up.

 

"Archaeoraptor" was the fake, Anchiornis is the one in your image and is real.

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