Dinosaur Fossil May Show Oldest Feathers

MADRID, Sept. 8 (UPI) — Spanish paleontologists say they’ve uncovered a new dinosaur fossil in central Spain with what may be the earliest evidence of feathers.

Concavenator corcovatus, meaning “meat eater from Cuenca with a hump,” is a type of dinosaur known as a theropod, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The most primitive forms of theropods have been found in England and now Spain. These finds date from the Lower Cretaceous, somewhere between 100 million and 146 million years ago.

Theropods are a significant group of dinosaurs because it is from this group that birds originated.

“They are a very important group of dinosaurs because within this group there are the birds,” Professor Jose Sanz of the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid said.

“This world would not be the same without birds. Birds are really a kind of specialized winged and flying theropod dinosaur,” he said.

The dinosaur’s skeleton features a hump over the ilium, where the hind legs join the spine, and around five bumps on the forearm.

The bumps closely resemble the attachment points for feathers found in modern birds and could be evidence feathers are much older in evolutionary terms than previously believed, scientists say.

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Categorized | Birds, Other
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