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So they're not yet properly termed "feathers." They're not
necessarily "protofeathers" either.
How, then, can one simply and pithily describe the integumentary
structures observed on the two specimens of tiny Yixian dinosaur
They're definitely "scales," if highly specialized ones, right? What
else could they be?
Would it be misleading to refer to them as "hairlike scales?"
Howsabout "Specialized scales?"
(Don't even suggest "plumule-esque integuments," please.)
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