>> Monday, February 1, 2010
Circling the news sites is an article about Sinosauropteryx prima, a little dinosaur that has feathers. It was once thought that it was covered in bristles, but upon further inspection it was determined that these "bristles" are, in fact, feathers and orange ones at that. They also noticed that the pigment came in bands along the tail.
This carnivorous dino is the first one to have its exact feather colors determined. Now, while this may seem strange to many of you, dinosaurs have long been linked to prehistoric birds and the like. In fact, modern day birds are thought to have evolved from theropods, the group of dinosaurs our orange little buddy (only about four feet in length) belonged to back in the day. These findings aid in the debate of the evolution of feathers as well. This shows that feathers did not evolve out of necessity of flight, but were perhaps used for something else like displays or insulation.
You can read more about this awesome dinosaur here.