Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Monday, September 05, 2005

Feathered Dinosaurs!

We knew that dinosaurs were related to birds for a while, but now the scientists seem to have a proof that some of them were actually covered with feathers.

The feather revelation follows a series of discoveries in fossil beds at Liaoning in northeast China where a volcanic eruption buried many dinosaurs alive. It also cut off the oxygen that would otherwise have rotted them away.

Some theropod (“beast-footed”) dinosaurs were preserved complete with feathery plumage. Theropod is the name given to predatory creatures that walked upright on two legs, balanced by a long tail.


Among the discovered fossils they have found a feathery early beta version of t-rex (it's not the king itself, but an early member of the tyrannosaurus family), and few other predatory species. This is wild!

I always felt that the popular image of gray skinned lizard was wrong. All we had to go by is the hides of the modern reptiles. But dinosaurs were more related to birds. If we look at modern birds, we can clearly see how colorful they are. Hence, t-rex might have been raging pink, or bright yellow for all we know. Yet every single movie and nature show portrayed them solid gray or green. Even the cutting edge "Walking with Dinosaurs" series only dared to put a few stripes on a t rex here and there.

Can you imagine a feathery dinosaur? MSNBC article has an artist rendering of how the creature would look. It also has clarification about t-rex which actually had naked scales.

This is yet another little tidbit of information one can use when discussing with the friken intelligent design people. If that's not one of those "missing links" I don't know what is. Of course ID people will easily rebute it with some logic-free, circular, self referential, nonsensical argument - but that's ok.


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