The fossil of a small, predatory dinosaur discovered in Germany has experts rethinking how feathers developed among the dinosaurs that likely gave rise to birds.
The authors say the new species undermines the notion that a covering of simple, hairlike feathers was characteristic of such early theropods as was previously believed.
Given its position in the dinosaur family tree, Juravenator "should bear filamentous feathers," Xing Xu said in an interview. But Chiappe says the new fossil didn't seem to bear any physical evidence of feathers, missing or not. "You could expect to see follicle [in the skin], small pits that contain feather buds. We don't see them in Juravenator," Chiappe said.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juravenator
Juravenator is a genus of small (70 cm long) coelurosaurian [Compsognathidae] dinosaur, which lived in the area which would someday become the Jura mountains of Germany, about 151 or 152 million years ago.