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Re: more about "feather" find



Here's another blog post on it, with links to more.
http://chinleana.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-feathered-cretaceous.html

It says that a fossil of a small dinosaur of the saurichian line was covered
with long very primitive feathers.

No, it's an ornithischian, and that's part of why it's such a surprise!!!

Have any of you looked closely at the fur of a cat?  Some modern mammals
could be said to have very primitive feathers.

Less so than *Tianyulong*. *Tianyulong* has pretty stiff bristles that were half a millimeter thick -- that's more like the keel of a feather than like a hair.


http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2009/03/tianyulong_-_a_fuzzy_dinosaur_that_makes_the_origin_of_feath.php
"They were very gently curved but otherwise rigid - no bends or waves were found."


When did synapsids develop their fibrous body covering?

The docodont *Castorocauda*, closely related to Mammalia-in-the-strictest-sense, had fur, but beyond that we don't know. The dinocephalian *Estemmenosuchus*, a Middle Permian animal, appears to have had naked skin. Somewhere between these two, then... that's a lot of space...


Maybe this is parallel evolution.

Of course. Ornithodirans and synapsids aren't sister-groups. Do the names Sauropsida and Theropsida (mind the o!) ring a bell for you?


Clearly it was an advantage to develop hom[e]othermy.

In some environments, yes.