Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, the first known fluffy ornithischian dinosaur. Only officially announced last week, this little 1.5m long (~5ft) Jurassic critter is an incredibly significant find. Until now all known examples of feathered dinosaurs have been members of the theropod branch, but Kulindadromeus is a basal neornithischian, much more closely related to hadrosaurs, ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs.
Two other ornithischians, Tianyulong and Psittacosaurus, were previously known to have sported quill-like bristles, but this new find is the first example of actual filamentous “dinofuzz” in the group. The fossils of Kulindadromeus preserve three different types of feathery integument — hair-like filaments on the body, downy tufts on the upper limbs, and strange “ribbon-like” feathers on its shins — as well as scaly skin on the tail and lower limbs.
The idea that fuzzy ‘protofeather’-like structures might be ancestral to all dinosaurs (or maybe even deeper in the archosauria) is starting to look increasingly likely…
You’ve never seen a dinosaur, naturally, but you probably have a pretty good idea of what they look like. We’ve seen the same look over and over, across dozens of movies, books and museums: There’s…
Funny that this would break embargo mere minutes after my response to a question about dinofuzz. Definitely strengthens the idea that dinosaurs (and maybe the common ancestor of pterosaurs and dinosaurs) were primitively fuzzy.
Changyuraptor yangi is a newly-described microraptorine dromaeosaur dinosaur from the early Cretaceous (Yixian formation) of Liaoning, China.
The animal would have been around 4 feet long in life, and its fossil shows that it was covered in feathers — including, as in its smaller cousin Microraptor, a pair of “leg wings” represented by long paired pennaceous feathers on the metatarsals and tibiotarsus. One of Changyuraptor's most unique features is its voluminous tail feathers, and these feathers constitute the longest of any known non-avian dinosaur, with the most distal retrices reaching around 30 cm in length.
Changyuraptor is also by far the largest “four-winged” dinosaur known, and while this might not be as big of a deal as it sounds (given that there aren’t very many “four-winged” dinosaurs), it does show that small size wasn’t necessarily the gatekeeper to certain volant adaptations. I personally doubt that this animal was doing anything approaching powered flight, but the long tail feathers and multiple sets of long, well-developed lifting surfaces may have been a boon to gliding and controlled descent. The exceptionally long tail feathers therefore might have been used as a sort of “pitch control” device, wherein a large, relatively heavy animal would have needed especially fine-tuned control over rapid falls onto prey or in safe landings from higher ground. As Buzz Lightyear would say, “This isn’t flying, it’s falling with style!”
Gouache paint on A3-size hot-pressed illustration board, approx. 5-6 hours.
Gang Han et al. 2014. “A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance”. Nature Communications. 5: 4382.
hey everyone! as this little blue dinosaur says, i’m in need of some help!
i was accepted into a video game design program at college, and i very, very much want to attend. however, some last minute developments mean that unless i can get 5000 dollars within a week, and 10000 more dollars by september, i won’t be able to this year.
this would have been a big move for my mental health. i’m mentally ill and my living situation is detrimental for me, but i won’t be able to leave until i go to school.
it looks like i’ll have to stay here for another year, find a new job, and save as much as i can. i need to save up at least 15000 dollars for school next year, while also paying for living expenses for the year. i’m going to need some help with this, especially while i’m unemployed.
any donations at all would help so, soooo much. i can’t do regular commissions at this time, but i can still offer some art to any kind donors.
i’d appreciate any help at all, whether it’s a few dollars or just spreading the word! thank you sooo much for reading!
i know this is not your (ir)regularly scheduled archosaur programming but i would really appreciate if you could take a look!
Who has their TetZooCon tickets? We do
CROC SANDWICH GET ME IN THERE
Top: Original vs new fabric (and slight colour alterations!)
Life size microraptor, now in ginkgo tree! (Tree sold separately!)
Ornithologists Unveil Hummingbird Family Tree