STL Science Center

STL Science Center

15 June 2016

Feathers of the Dragon

Typically a dragon does not have feathers, but Dilong paradoxus is not an ordinary dragon and it is indeed covered in feathers. A number of skulls and apparent ontogenetic stages of remains have been recovered belonging to Dilong. The feathers of Dilong were concentrated around the skull and the tail specifically. These feathers were simple feathers potentially even protofeathers rather than full fledged feathers capable of flight. Instead, as protofeathers, these structures were more likely used to maintain body temperature. Lacking extensive display feathers, the homeostasis hypothesis is even more likely. Because of the feathering and evidence of other tyrannosaurids skin covering impressions, Xu, et al. 2004 hypothesized that all tyrannosaurids had multiple different regions of unique skin coverings. The reason we only see on in the Dilong skin impressions is because of this multifaceted regional covering and the lack of other regions becoming impressed in the fossil slab.

No comments:

Post a Comment