The novel dinosaur, named Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus as it comes from a site called Kulinda on the banks of the Olov River inward Siberia, is described inward a newspaper of late published in Science.
Kulindadromeus shows epidermal scales on its tail in addition to shins, in addition to brusk bristles on its caput in addition to back. The most astonishing discovery, however, is that it every bit good has complex, chemical compound feathers associated alongside its arms in addition to legs.
Birds arose from dinosaurs over 150 1000000 years agone in addition to thence it was no surprise when dinosaurs alongside feathers were institute inward China inward 1996. But all those feathered dinosaurs were theropods, flesh-eating dinosaurs that include the at ane time ancestors of birds.
Lead writer Dr Pascal Godefroit from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural History inward Brussels said: “I was actually amazed when I saw this. We knew that to a greater extent than or less of the plant-eating ornithischian dinosaurs had uncomplicated bristles, in addition to nosotros couldn’t endure certain whether these were the same kinds of structures every bit plane in addition to theropod feathers. Our novel regain clinches it: all dinosaurs had feathers, or at to the lowest degree the potential to sprout feathers.”
The Kulinda site was institute inward summertime 2010 past times Professor Dr Sofia Sinitsa from the Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology in addition to Cryology SB RAS inward Chita, Russia. In 2013, the Russian-Belgian squad excavated many dinosaur fossils, every bit good every bit flora in addition to insect fossils.
The feathers were studied past times Dr Maria McNamara (University of Bristol in addition to University College, Cork) in addition to Professor Michael Benton (University of Bristol), who has every bit good worked on the feathers of Chinese dinosaurs, in addition to Professor Danielle Dhouailly (Université Joseph Fourier inward Grenoble, France) who is a specialist on the evolution of feathers in addition to scales inward modern reptiles in addition to birds.
Dr McNamara said: “These feathers are actually rattling good preserved. We tin forcefulness out come across each filament in addition to how they are joined together at the base, making a chemical compound construction of half dozen or vii filaments, each upwards to 15mm long.”
Professor Dhouailly said: “Developmental experiments inward modern chickens propose that avian scales are aborted feathers, an stance that explains why birds convey scaly legs. The astonishing uncovering is that the molecular mechanisms needed for this switch mightiness convey been in addition to thence clearly related to the appearance of the showtime feathers inward the earliest dinosaurs.”
Kulindadromeus was a pocket-sized plant-eater, solely almost 1m long. It had long hind legs in addition to brusk arms, alongside v strong fingers. Its snout was short, in addition to its teeth demo clear adaptations to flora eating. In evolutionary terms, it sits depression inward the evolutionary tree of ornithischian dinosaurs. There are half dozen skulls in addition to several hundred partial skeletons of this novel dinosaur at the Kulinda locality.
This uncovering suggests that feather-like structures were probable widespread inward dinosaurs, perhaps fifty-fifty inward the earliest members of the group. Feathers in all likelihood arose during the Triassic, to a greater extent than than 220 1000000 years ago, for purposes of insulation in addition to signalling, in addition to were solely after co-opted for flight. Smaller dinosaurs were in all likelihood covered inward feathers, by in addition to large alongside colourful patterns, in addition to feathers may convey been lost every bit dinosaurs grew upwards in addition to became larger.