Scientists discover first feathered dinosaur tail encased in amberBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 9 December 2016 | Categories: news
We know that dinosaurs existed because Steven Spielberg and Jurassic Park tells us so. What's been a tad more difficult to prove, is the evolutionary path from feathered ones, to the more reptilian versions that Hollywood has showcased for years.
Now, scientists have discovered a piece of amber that showcases birds role in the evolution of dinosaurs, as paleontologist lead Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences found a small portion of a feathered dinosaur tail. According to National Geographic, which also funded Xing's team's expedition, the piece of amber dates back to the Cretaceous period and is estimated at 99 million years old.
Based on early analysis, the scientists have determined that the tail came from a young Coelurosaur, which is believed to be part of a subgroup of theropods that includes other birds and dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
While more investigation is indeed required, this latest piece of evidence points to how birds evolved into dinosaurs, a theory long held in the scientific community.
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