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Re: Feathered ancestor of T. rex unearthed

At 11:55 AM -0700 10/6/04, Dino Guy Ralph W. Miller III wrote:

The largest individual would have been approximately 1.6 meters long, and the three-fingered forelimbs were long enough to facilitate grasping prey. The skull resembles juvenile tyrannosauroid skulls; the gracile postcranial skeleton is somewhat similar to those of basal coelurosaurians. The referred specimen cited above sports branched filamentous protofeathers as in other coelurosaurians. Protofeathers from the dorsal edge of distal caudal vertebrae are represented in photographs and drawings. Aside from this, the paper does not describe the distribution of the protofeathers.

They also say "A small patch of filamentous integumentary structures is also preserved close to the posterior left mandible." It's easy to miss in the paper, and they do not say the filaments were attached, but it indicates the protofeathers may have covered much of the body.

Definitely a neat critter.
Jeff Hecht,    science and technology writer
Boston Correspondent, New Scientist magazine
Contributing Editor        Laser Focus World
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