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Posts Tagged "feathers"

Observations

Caveman Couture: Neandertals Rocked Dark Feathers

Neandertal wearing feathers

GIBRALTAR—Jordi Rosell removes a thumbnail-size piece of reddish-tan bone from a sealed plastic bag, carefully places it under the stereomicroscope and invites me to have a look. Peering through the eyepieces I see two parallel lines etched in the specimen’s weathered surface. Tens of thousands of years ago, in one of the seaside caves located [...]

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Observations

Bush-league male mates stress out female finches

male finches can stress out females if incompatible

Whether they are finding love in a flock or a lab, female Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) know what they’re looking for: a fit male with head feathers that match their own. And the females that don’t end up with a desirable mate are slower to lay eggs and wind up more physiologically stressed, according to [...]

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Observations

Giant extinct penguin skipped tuxedo for more colorful feathers

ancient penguin with more colorful feathers

A recent fossil find reveals that penguins might not have always been so formal in their feathery attire. Rather, some penguins of the late Eocene were likely cloaked in reds, browns and grays rather than the classic black and white, according to a new report. Aside from painting a more accurate picture of ancient aquatic [...]

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Observations

Curious carnivorous dinosaur had a humpback

new humbacked dinosaur

Some dinosaurs had feathers; others had extendable claws or elaborate spikes. But a newly described species is the first to have been found with a distinctively humped back. The six-meter-long theropod (Concavenator corcovatus) hunted in modern-day Spain some 125 million years ago. Unlike a camel’s fatty hump, this carnivorous dinosaur’s bump was made of solid [...]

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Observations

Feathers developed differently in dinosaurs’ life cycles than in those of modern birds

dinosaur feather evolution development birds

A rare fossil find of two young feathered theropods has revealed that these animals sprouted a much wider range of plumage as they matured than contemporary birds do. Researchers, led by Xing Xu of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, have described the specimens as Similicaudipteryx [...]

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Observations

Prehistoric patterns: A dinosaur gets color from head to feathery tail

color dinosaur feeathers fossils

Last week, researchers announced that they had been able to place, for the first time, original colors on a dinosaur—painting in striking stripes on Sinosauropteryx‘s tail based on new evidence of pigment particles. Today, another team reports that they have decoded the colors of a different dino from head to tail. The findings, which will [...]

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Symbiartic

How do you fill a dinosaur exhibit with feathers?

Caudipteryx © {link url="http://chasmosaurs.blogspot.com/"}David Orr{/link}

  Q: How do you fill a dinosaur exhibit with feathers? A: Put out an open call to the blogosphere’s paleo artists. ART Evolved is a paleo-themed group art blog created by educators Craig Dylke and Peter Bond that I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in since its inception 4 years ago this month. [...]

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Symbiartic

Dinosaur feathers frozen in time

11-012Feature

Since it’s getting so ugly over at TechCrunch, I thought I should provide an antidote of real beauty. Every now and then a scientific paper is published that hits it out of the park with imagery. Yesterday, McKellar el. al did just that in Science, publishing a smorgasbord of photographs of dinosaur and early bird [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Flight of the Microraptor

Our Microraptor in picturesque settings. The hindlimbs are shown here in near-maximum sprawl. Photo from Dyke et al. (2013).

Some weeks ago now, myself and a team of colleagues (Gareth Dyke, Roeland de Kat, Colin Palmer, Jacques Van der Kindere and Bharathram Ganapathisubramani) – all of whom are based at the University of Southampton – published the results (in Nature Communications) of our study on the aerodynamic performance of Microraptor, a small, long-winged dromaeosaurid [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The war on parasites: the pigeon’s eye view, the oviraptorosaur’s eye view

Here’s an old article ‘from the archives’. Actually, it’s two articles combined: both originally appeared at Tet Zoo ver 1 in 2006, and both are included together in Tetrapod Zoology Book One. I’ve made no effort to update the text (bar minor tweaks). If I did, I’d write about the various new Cretaceous fleas and [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Thor Hanson’s Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle

The complex structure, development and growth of feathers can, to paraphrase one expert on the subject, be seriously damaging to your mental health. Feathers are just crazy, almost certainly the most complex structures to ever grow out of any animal’s external surface. Yet for all their marvellous complexity, for all the interest that people have [...]

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