It has long been believed that dinosaurs, like lizards and other reptiles, was covered with scales, but in fact they could have feathers. This is evidenced by many fossils of ancient creatures, but a new discovery by researchers from the University of Bristol is proving that the pen cover in some animals appeared much earlier than in birds and dinosaurs. Most interesting is that they were not intended for flight.
According to Professor Michael Benton of Bristol University, feather covered animals appeared 80 million years before the appearance of birds. The oldest bird remains Archaeopteryx, however, Chinese paleontologists over the last decade have unearthed the remains of even more ancient creatures, who had nearly the same plumage as that of modern birds.
Feathers appeared earlier than expected
According to the researchers, the feathers are formed by proteins beta-keratins, and the first signs associated genetic changes were recorded by scientists from the remains of animals that lived about 250 million years ago, early Triassic period. At this time the ancient animals just to master the different modes of transportation and improve the system of regulation of temperature of the body. That is why the researchers believe the feathers were not used for flying — it is more likely that 80 million years before the emergence of birds, feather cover provide thermal insulation.
Insulating feathers could have found in Russia dinosaur kalingatimes. His body was not just covered with feathers and the different forms of feather structures in different areas of the body plumage provides good thermoregulation. Looked like the dinosaurs covered with feathers, can be seen in our material.
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