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T. rex did not have feathers, say scientists

June 10, 2017 | Comment icon 16 comments

The latest research suggests that T. rex had scales, not feathers. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Marcel Kunkel
The idea that Tyrannosaurus rex had a thick plumage of feathers has been called in to serious doubt.
There's certainly something not quite right about the idea of seeing one of the world's greatest predators wandering around covered in feathers and now, following an analysis of a T. rex skin impression from a fossil specimen known as Wyrex, researchers have declared that these huge carnivorous dinosaurs actually had scales, just like the traditional view of them suggests.

While some of the smaller tyrannosaurs were thought to have had feathers, the researchers believe that the larger species would have lost them because they were no longer needed for insulation.

Not everyone is convinced however that the team's conclusions are correct.
"I don't think we can assume that T. rex lacked feathers just because some fossil skeletons have skin impressions that are scaly," said Dr Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh.

"It takes inconceivable good luck to preserve feathers in fossils. Just because we don't see them doesn't mean they weren't there."

"So I don't think we need to throw out the image of a big fluffy T. rex quite yet."

Source: BBC News | Comments (16)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Carnivorfox 5 years ago
Note that the title is a bit misleading, as there is still the possibility of T. rex having feathers. Only skin on small areas of the neck, pelvis, and tail were preserved in the specimen examined, meaning that a large portion of the dorsal region could have still harbored feathers. Dinosaurs with entirely preserved body integument like Kulindadromeus, Juravenator, and Anchiornis show a varying mix of both scales and feathers. As for any "feather-haters" out there, science always marches on (and doesn't care what you think looks "cooler").
Comment icon #8 Posted by oldrover 5 years ago
I don't mind a bit of fluff on tyrannosaurus but can we please put the sauropods back in the swamps, that definitely was cooler.  
Comment icon #9 Posted by Carnivorfox 5 years ago
An unrepentant Burian-ite, as usual.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Orphalesion 5 years ago
How about we bring back the giant lizard iguanodon with the nose thorn? In some ways it would be nice to return to the Victorian era reconstructions of dinosaurs, when they used to be creepy-cool demon dragons that would have never feasibly worked in reality. Plesiosaurs with snake necks, T-Rex that move like Frankenstein's creature, Stegosaurs that walk upright.... those pictures are magical. I swear I once came across one in an old book that had an ammonite sitting on a river bank and raising its tentacles to fight aplesiosaur or something.
Comment icon #11 Posted by oldrover 5 years ago
YES! That's it, more of this sort of thing! The Crystal Palace take on the Mesozoic. I love those things. I swear one day I'm going to wander through there with my Crombie and umbrella desperately trying to look period.    Can't help it, I like my Sauropods in a damp setting. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Carnivorfox 5 years ago
Well, if we're going with outdated or outlandish depictions of dinosaurs, Duane T. Gish's epically idiotic fire-breathing Parasaurolophus is an equally fun and nonsensical option.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Orphalesion 5 years ago
Oh breathing dinosaurs! Though that isn't even fair. At least those Victorians were trying their best and just made honest mistakes. That guy desperately tries to make up stuff to fit in with mythology and/or dogma.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Claire. 5 years ago
Long Live the Fuzzy T. rex Despite recent headlines, there's still good reason to think T. rex was fluffy Read more: Scientific American  
Comment icon #15 Posted by Lilly 5 years ago
Don't care if T-Rex was cute and fluffy or not...still would not make them good pets!
Comment icon #16 Posted by third_eye 5 years ago
Either they have more  than feathers or they had a steady supply of fur coats ...    

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