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STL Science Center
24 October 2015
Feathers, Demons, and the Triassic
(C) Robinson Kunz
The idea of feathers on a theropod in the Triassic was more than taboo only a few years ago. It was laughable at best to be sure. However, the times have changed thanks to many different fossil finds within the last 15 or so years. The feathering on this version of Daemonosaurus is actually a little subdued, but it is very effective in its subdued appearance. The truly key anatomical ingredients in this drawing are the large orbit and consequently large eye as well as the protruding and strange teeth. Those teeth appear to be designed for grappling with fish, but the surrounding fauna and environment make a dietary inference of insects a bit more plausible. Those teeth snaring either fish or insect would have been highly effective though. The size of the prey would have been smaller than larger animals with these types of teeth would have been able to grab, but given the small size of the theropod, the food it could grab was probably perfectly suitable for it. The eyes being as large as they are points at inferences including crepuscular and even nocturnal lifestyles. A small theropod running around at night gobbling up insects is very interesting. This kind of animal would be very neat to see in person running around.