Amber fossils with feathers found in Canada Feb 19, 2012 21:25:19 GMT
Post by stoneage on Feb 19, 2012 21:25:19 GMT
So there is no such thing as bird feathers except maybe ornithischian quills. What about the the Hererodontosaur, Tianyulong? Storys about proto-feathers abound in all sorts of scientic studys. Even among Dinosaurs supposively not related to Dinosaurs. What about Beipiaosaurus and Dilong paradoxus, aren't they suppose to have fossil impressions of proto-feathers.
The quills of heterodontosaurs and psittacosaurs may or may not be related to feathers. If they are, they may count as genuine protofeathers.
References to "protofeathers" are based on fossils which are severely crushed. This study showed that if you flatten even a modern bird, its feathers look like "protofeathers":
The flattening makes the filaments on either side of the feather quill all blur together, and appear to be independent.
This study showed that the "protofeathers" of Sinosauropteryx are identical to chick down, but were misinterpreted because they were so small and squished together. But on close examination, both barbs and quills can be seen and probably make up individual, complex feathers:
The EBFF feathers of Beipiaosaurus and an undescribed tyrannosaur are interesting, because they're more quill-like with no barbs or filaments branching. However they're not like regular feather quills because they're broad and flat (certainly nothing like the ones reported in the amber). They might be protofeathers, or highly modified normal feathers. If they are protofeathers, note that they're absolutely nothing like the short, fuzzy supposed protofeathers of Dilong etc. (which are probably similar to normal downy feathers).
So, there's no solid evidence any theropods had protofeathers. Most of them had ACTUAL feathers identical to the kind found in modern birds. It's possible protofeathers were a feature of primitive dinosaurs, and they evolved into true feathers among tetanurans or something. But we have no evidence of those yet.
All this proves is the evidence we have is fuzzy, and that popular theropdod dinosaur to bird transformation maybe just BAD theory.
The general consensus of palaeontologists remains that birds did indeed evolve from dinosaurs, and that most people support this view.
However, as Prof Lingham Soliar said: "My view is that we leave mob rule out of good science otherwise we would still believe in blood-letting as a cure for disease, numerology of the pyramids, the flat earth theory and the sun going round the earth