STL Science Center

STL Science Center

22 July 2016

One More Feathered Fossil

If Protoavis was a bird or if it was a small theropod this re-creation is an acceptable representation of what the fossil may have looked like fleshed out and alive. The caption mentions specifically that the feathering is inferred and that the feather pattern is based on the feathers of Archaeopteryx. The head is scaly and extremely dinosaurian. The eyes, in the orientation that they are shown here, appear to have some binocular capabilities; this overlap of visual fields was mentioned by Chatterjee in The Rise of Birds. This particular illustration is possibly one of the better life restorations of Protoavis that has been shown this week. This is in part because it does not entirely commit to either interpretation while allowing for both sides of the argument to show through in this illustration.

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