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Re: Feathering in coelurosaurs

It seems probable to me that baby tyrannosaurs had feathers, but I'm wondering about adults of small species like Alioramus, who are no bigger or even smaller than some coelurosaurs of other groups, like Utahraptor. Is it a question of metabolism, perhaps? Can more evolved coelurosaurs manage feathers better?

M. Nalasco

From: "Jordan Mallon" <j_mallon@hotmail.com>
Reply-To: j_mallon@hotmail.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Feathering in coelurosaurs
Date: Sun, 02 Apr 2000 08:58:52 PDT

Mary Nalasco wrote:

Hello, All-

I've seen some nice pictures of Gallimimus, Therizinosaurus, Utahraptor,
other large coelurosaurs depicted with feathers. Yet all tyrannosaurs, even
the smaller ones about the same size of some these coelurosaurs, seem to
have scales. I was just wondering around what size range feathers would
start to become more of a hassle than they're worth, and if there's any
reason why some of the small tyrannosaurs wouldn't have feathers.

Thank You.
M. Nalasco

I don't think there's any reason why a baby tyrannosaur wouldn't have feathers. In fact, I've seen a couple pictures where a young _T.rex_ has been portrayed with some sort of down (see the "Feathers for T.rex" article in the November issue of last year's National Geographic, for example). On the other hand, I must agree that I haven't seen many portrayals of any young tyrannosaurs sporting any type of feathery integument. I would imagine perhaps that some artists may be a little biased and not want to cover up that pebbly skin texture that so many of us are used to seeing on good ol' _T.rex_.

- Jordan Mallon
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