Sunday, December 11, 2016

Feathers in Amber

'Beautiful' dinosaur tail found preserved in amber
The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar.
The one-of-a-kind discovery helps put flesh on the bones of these extinct creatures, opening a new window on the biology of a group that dominated Earth for more than 160 million years.
Let's look at the study:

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(16)31193-9
The branched feathers have a weak pennaceous arrangement of barbs consistent with non-avialan coelurosaurs, particularly paravians. Although the feathers are somewhat pennaceous, none of the observed osteological features preclude a compsognathid [28] affinity. The presence of pennaceous feathers in pairs down the length of the tail may point toward a source within Pennaraptora [9], placing a lower limit on the specimen’s phylogenetic position. However, the distribution and shape of the feathers only strongly supports placement crownward of basal coelurosaurs, such as tyrannosaurids and compsognathids. In terms of an upper limit, the specimen can be confidently excluded from Pygostylia; in addition, it can likely be excluded from the long-tailed birds, based on pronounced ventral grooves on the vertebral centra.
That is a very nice Pennaraptoran/Paravian. It is not a dinosaur. The problem for the dinosaur to bird theory is that there is no connection between Pennaraptoran/Paravians and coelurosaur dinosaurs.

2 comments:

  1. There is basically no evidence of intermediate feather stages between the coelurosaur dinosaur bristles (monofilaments) and the pennaceous feathers of pennaraptora/paraves. This lack of evidence is hidden by simply calling the pennaraptora/paraves "feathered dinosaurs".

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  2. Supplementary information:
    http://www.cell.com/cms/attachment/2075122016/2069586832/mmc1.pdf

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