STL Science Center

STL Science Center

30 May 2015

Feathered and Fun

From Hone DWE, Tischlinger H, Xu X, Zhang F (2010)
 The feathers of Microraptor are not even remotely questionable. They are clearly viewed attached to all four limbs. The tail possesses well defined feathers out at the caudal-most end of the tail as well. The only real question with that much feathering is how closely related is Microraptor to extant birds? The paper from which today's image is ripped examined the feathers with UV light to conclude that they were real and attached directly to the skeleton. It did not delve into the depths of the dino-bird question, but the evidence for Microraptor as a linking taxon is outlined in other papers. As a small dromaeosaur we know that it belongs to the family of dinosaurs most closely related to birds. We can also infer an ability to glide for short periods and distances or at least fall with grace thanks to those long feathers on the limbs.

Hone DWE, Tischlinger H, Xu X, Zhang F (2010) The Extent of the Preserved Feathers on the Four-Winged Dinosaur Microraptor gui under Ultraviolet Light. PLoS ONE 5(2) e9223.

No comments:

Post a Comment