It's old an dirty and it's something I drew years ago, a proto feathered Coelophysis. With all the new feathered dinosaurs, all the things we think we know are basically tossed into chaos. We have small patches of skin for T. rex and Allosaurus, they show scales for that part of the body (only small sections of preserved skin, there might be feathers elsewere), we have a mostly scaled Carnotaurus. Feathered tyrannosaur ancestors... We have a hetrodontosaur species that shows feathers, completely unexpected, they are more closely related to the iguanadons and hardrosaurs... we have a psitticasuaurs with tail quills and scales... so what the heck are we supposed to put on these guys now, scales or feathers or proto feathers..? And with another recent find that shows that the feathers changed from one type of feather to another in some species as they matured... I'm at a loss. Do the feathers go all the way down to the beginning of the dinosaur family 'tree'? Questions and more questions. I'm left wondering if the scales on the backs of some hadrosaurs are actually scales or are hardened proto feathers like a rhino's horn (made of hairs actually.) Up is down and down is sideways.... my brain hurts. What we need are some large dinosaur find with skin and feathers or scales, like the little ones in Lioning.
I'm wondering if I'm going to have to start drawing 2 versions of every dinosaur, a scaled version and a feathered one. My hand is cramping just thinking of the extra work;)
I'm fairly sure the hadrosaur scales are actually scales, but you never know;)
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I can't believe you wrote a second blog post with my name on it...right in the title! (the first was for Therizinosaurus)...If I'm not wrong, there's only one way to return the favor...I'd reciprocate with another post, hoping it will be to your liking: a post devoted to Brett "Carnosauria" Booth on "Geomythologica"! [SO, more on proto-feathers soon]ReplyDelete
No need to go to any trouble, I was just far to lazy to post in the thread, and since I found this image the other day I decided to post it for you:) I'm pretty darn sure I'd do it differently now.
When you say theres fossilised evidence of feathers in dinosaurs, what do these feathers appear like?ReplyDelete
if the dinosaurs could not fly at the time, then perhaps the feathers were originally evolved for a differnt purpose?
I'd also imagine the feathers would look radically differnt to modern avian feathers, perhaps they were originally intended for visual communication, very colourful and attached to areas of skin were they could be raised to form elabourate displays?
or perhaps with the larger tyrannosaurs they were merely stumps that were the beginnings of an evolutionary path to being clothed in feathers? (forgive me ignorance on this comment but i havent seen the relevant fossils)
what ever it is, though i dont doubt the feathers thing, i also dont see alot of rational use for a terrestrial apex predator to wear feathers even in small numbers.
I know im babbling on and probably talking a load of rubbish but i figure your alot more clued up and probably have personal oppinions of your own to share.
The feathers in dinosaurs look like modern bird feathers, from simple structures like Kiwi's to fully aerodynamic flight feathers. There are many fossilized feathered dinosaurs from the Lioning providence of China. More info on Wiki:
Depending on the dating evidence it appears feathers were first used for either display or insulation. Flight later, and if feathers go all way down to the base of the dinosaur tree, it's possible that all dinosaurs had feathers in their ancestry, even the giant sauropods and ceratopsians.
Recently they've even been able to get colors and patterns off the feathered dinosaurs specimens. At least the oranges and black pigments.
The Tyrannosaurs were feathered in their early species, we have evidence for the more Kiwi like feathers for them, but this now appears to be from a sister branch on the tyrannosaur tree (thanks to Raptor rex) so it's unknown of the small armed branch that Tyrannosaurus rex is on, had feathers or not, most likely it's ancestors did and as they evolved the large size the lost feathers.. or did they? That is still not known.
Feathers on the larger Theropods could be used for mating displays and if it got cold enough, heat. Some of the tyrannosaur species lived in relatively cold climates, and might have been feathered during the coldest part of the years, speculation, but not out of the realm of possibility.
Doesn't hurt to ask questions:)
Thank you for the reply Brett, those are some interesting ideas, i hadnt thought of feathers being originally designed for insulation.ReplyDelete
Is it possible that some later dinosaurs could have been warm blooded in that case?
It's more like, all dinosaurs were always warm blooded. They inherited it from their archosaur ancestors, as did the Pterosaurs, who also have a feather or hair like insulation.
grow rate of dinosaurs trend towards warm bloodedness, toss in a need to stay warm, predator/ prey ratios like that of mammals, the blurring of the line of what is a dinosaur and what is a bird. It's more likely dinosaurs were warm blooded than cold.