- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
The image of dinosaurs everywhere might be changing as the discovery of a new species of dinosaur gives credence to the theory that most dinosaurs were feathered.
In Siberia, a new species of dinosaur has been uncovered, known as the Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus. An herbivore, the dinosaur lived about 160 million years ago during the Jurassic period, and had both feathers and scales, according to Live Science. The dinosaur would not have had the right body dimensions to fly, but the feathers could have served other functions, such as insulation or as an attraction for potential mates.
As explained in a study published on July 24 in Science, the discovery of this new species could have a profound influence on how scientists look at dinosaurs. Scientists have known for quite some time that certain dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds and thus naturally had feathers. However, according to the Washington Post, the discovery of feathers on the Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, a non-direct avian ancestor, suggests feathers were more common in dinosaurs than originally thought.
Paleontologist Darla Zelenitsky, who works at the University of Calgary, told Live Science that, “This is the first time birdlike feathers have been found in dinosaurs that are not closely related to birds. This unexpectedly reveals that such feathers would likely have been present in most groups of dinosaurs.”