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Re: more about "feather" find
Here's another blog post on it, with links to more.
It says that a fossil of a small dinosaur of the saurichian line was
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
"They were very gently curved but otherwise rigid - no bends or waves were
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
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.