Largest feathered dinosaur fossils discovered in China
April 5, 2012
Scientists have long equated dinosaurs with birds, as many feathered creatures have been identified as distant relatives of the beasts that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. While many dinosaur fossils that have been discovered indicate there were feathered dinos way back when, they were typically small creatures. The fossilized remains of tyrannosauruses recently unearthed in China are evidence that this newly-discovered dinosaur is the largest feather-covered ancient creature to have been unearthed.
The fossils, discovered in Northeast China, are estimated to be about 125 million years old, and three nearly-complete skeletons of one adult and two juveniles have been classified as a new Tyrannosaur subspecies, the Yutyrranus huali. Scientists studying the remains believe their feathers were likely for insulation rather than any sort of flight.
"The feathers of Yutyrannus were simple filaments," said lead researcher Professor Xu Xing of Beijing's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. "They were more like the fuzzy down of a modern baby chick that the stiff plumes of an adult bird."