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1.Paleontologists Find Dinosaur Protofeather ... 2.Texas State Dinosaur Facing Name Change:

Paleontologists Find Dinosaur Protofeather
Wired News - USA
By Brandon Keim 
January 12, 2009 | 5:05:12 PM
Categories: Dinosaurs 
The latest proto-feather-clad skeleton is more than 100 million years old.

Paleontologists Find Dinosaur Protofeather
By Brandon Keim January 12, 2009 | 5:05:12 PMCategories: Dinosaurs   

Evidence continues to accumulate that feathers evolved for purposes
unrelated to flight. 

The latest proto-feather-clad skeleton is more than 100 million years old.
It was unearthed in northeastern China by paleontologists from the Chinese
Academy of Sciences - the same paleontologists who revealed to the world
Epidexipteryx, a pigeon-sized dino with four ostensibly decorative

Epidexipteryx had no flight feathers, and was seen as "fascinating evidence
of evolutionary experiments with feathers that were going on before small
dinosaurs finally took to the air," as London Natural History Museum curator
Angela Milner told the BBC. But its feathers were still relatively advanced
- a late stage of evolutionary experimentation.

The latest fossils, belonging to two specimens of Beipiaosaurus, appear to
represent an early stage of experimentation. Unlike the feathers of
Epidexipteryx and other proto-avians,


Feathers, it seems, started as evolutionary bling. 

Citation: "A new feather type in a nonavian theropod and the early evolution
of feathers." By Xing Xu, Xiaoting Zheng and Hailu You. Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106 No. 2, Jan. 12, 2009.

Image: Yellow arrows point to single-filament early feathers / PNAS

See Also:

Fancy Feathers Predated Flight in Dinosaur-Bird Hybrid 
Scientists Can't Explain Why Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

Massive Volcanic Eruptions Could Have Killed Off the Dinosaurs

The Rise of the Dinosaurs was Slow Going 
This Week in Dinosaurs: A Mesozoic Vacuum Cleaner

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Texas State Dinosaur Facing Name Change: Case Of Mistaken Dino-identity
ScienceDaily (Jan. 13, 2009) - 

The official State Dinosaur of Texas is up for a new name, based on Southern
Methodist University research that proved the titleholder has been

State Rep. Charles Geren of Fort Worth filed a resolution Jan. 7 to change
the name of the state dinosaur from Pleurocoelus to Paluxysaurus jonesi to


Adapted from materials provided by Southern Methodist University, via
EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

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