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The Official Feathered Dinosaur Shitstorm Thread

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Thought you guys might get a kick out this:

A feathery tail preserved in amber

  • 4 weeks later...

Hammering at this long bent and battered nail is beginning to pay off; now there is a depiction in the popular press of feathered tyrannosaurs.




These depictions are more or less OK. I'm not sure why they can't seem to get away from naked dino faces, though.

At the bottom you can see one of Steve's many colorful knives. ;)

Because there is a lot of evidence that T-Rex was a scavenger and take a look at Turkey Vultures.  Blood and fleshy bits are hard to get out of feathers. :P

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Apparently the jury is still out whether those "feathered" ornithischians were actually feathered calling into question whether the LCA of dinosaurs was fuzzy or not according to a new study in Biology Letters.


A new study, published in the journal Biology Letters this week, suggests that feathers were less prevalent among dinosaurs than previously believed. Scientists examined the fossil record of dinosaur skin and combined this with an evolutionary tree to assess the probability of feathers appearing in different dinosaur groups. This analysis demonstrated that the majority of non-avian dinosaurs were more likely to have scales than to exhibit signs of 'feather-like' structures.


"As palaeontologists we are at the mercy of available data, which given the interest in the field are ever changing. Our study shows that dinosaurs experimented extensively with their 'outer look' and potentially independently along separate evolutionary lineages. That is what the data allow us to say at present" says Nicolàs Campione, researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology, Uppsala University.


The controversial findings will add further fuel to a fierce debate among scientists as to whether the majority of dinosaurs were feathered or scaly.


Over the past two decades a number of spectacularly preserved dinosaur fossils with feathers have revolutionised the field of palaeontology. Due to the conflicting presence of scales and feathers in these new specimens, many scientists are convinced that this is an area of study that deserves further research.


The presence of feathers in birds and their immediate ancestors - theropod dinosaurs like Velociraptor - is uncontroversial, but their presence or absence in other dinosaur groups, such as those including Triceratops and Diplodocus, has been highly debated. Several recent discoveries had suggested that filament-like 'protofeathers' might be ubiquitous among dinosaurs, but the new research suggests that the common ancestor of dinosaurs did not necessarily have protofeathers and that the quills and filaments in some major plant-eating dinosaur groups were evolutionary experiments that were independent of true feather origins.


Dinosaur biology remains a disputed and competitive area of research.


"Using a comprehensive database of dinosaur skin impressions, we attempted to reconstruct and interpret the evolutionary history of dinosaur scales and feathers. Most of our analyses provide no support for the appearance of feathers in the majority of non-avian dinosaurs and although many meat-eating dinosaurs were feathered, the majority of other dinosaurs, including the ancestor of all dinosaurs, were probably scaly" says Paul Barrett professor at the Natural History Museum.


"Current data, for the most part, suggest that the common ancestor of dinosaurs was not feathered. However, this is a hypothesis that can only be tested with the discovery of new fossils with preserved skin and/or feathers. In particular, we need fossils that fill key locations in the evolutionary tree of dinosaurs" says Nicolàs Campione. - link

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It would be pretty crazy.  The most recent evidence suggested that archosaurs became warm-blooded way, way before stem ornithodirans.  Hell, I think crocodiles are secondarily cold blooded according to the most recent stuff.


So what in the hell would all these warm-blooded avemetatarsalia be doing running around with no insulation to keep in all that body heat?  Would be weird as hell.

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In the Jurassic Park books they use LAWs as weapons against dinosaurs. In real life how effective would be a LAW over say a M82?

An M82 should do fine. Large caliber rifles can down elephants and a dinosaur which is roughly the same mass like a Tyrannosaur should go down.


LAW would just make a mess. 

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That and a Shaped charge carries a pretty significant amount of very potent high explosive, at the velocities you typically see in shoulder fired weapons, Chemical energy tends to be far more effective then kinetic (aka, the projectile isn't traveling at goddamn relativistic velocities or has a nuclear warhead.)

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