STL Science Center

STL Science Center

30 September 2017

Squirrel Mocking

Photo by Ghedoghedo
2012 saw the official description of an informally announced coelurosaurian dinosaur with feathers preserved along its tail that were as bushy as the tail of squirrel. Adding further evidence to the feathering of the theropod dinosaurs, Sciurumimus albersdoerfi is one of the smallest and most primitive of the coelurosaurian dinosaurs. This proved a difficult distinction to make from the type fossil as it is a young juvenile animal; juvenile specimens always make definitive diagnosis difficult as their adult morphology may be exceedingly different from their fossilized state. This original type fossil is an exquisitely preserved relief fossil in a limestone slab from a formation in Bavaria that is chronologically similar to the Rögling Formation; this places it in the Upper Kimmeridgian immediately prior to the Solnhofen formation which contained Archaeopteryx.

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