It’s been well over 65 million years since these incredible multi-diverse group of animals ruled and dominated every foothold of planet Earth for approximately 160 million years.
But samples of Amber found in Western Canada that contains Dinosaur feathers is being exclaimed as the most complete story of feather evolution the experts have ever seen.
Eleven of the 80-million-years-old samples discovered from the Late Cretaceous Period show the progression from ‘hair-like filaments’ that show doubly-branched feathers of modern birds adding to the theory that many Dinosaurs did indeed boast fearthers and some were even beautiful and brightly coloured.
“We’re finding two ends of the evolutionary development that had been proposed for feathers trapped in the same amber deposit. We’ve got feathers that look to be little filamentous hair-like feathers and we’ve got the same filaments bound together in clumps. Then we’ve got a series that are for all intents and purposes identical to modern feathers.
“We’ve known for quite a while that several of the non-bird dinosaurs actually had feathers and many of them had feathers that are identical to the feathers you see on a pigeon in the park today.
“What’s interesting is the diversity of feathers that were present in non-avian dinosaurs that existed pretty close to that time interval when those animals disappeared around 65 million years ago”, said Mark Norell, Chairman of the Palaeontology Division at the American Museum of Natural History.
Most of the feathers found are similar to water diving or land dwelling birds but the experts believe that none of the feathers discovered were adapted for flight.
“If you were to transport yourself back 80 million years to Western North America and walk around the forest, so many of the animals would have been feathered. We’re getting more and more evidence that these animals were also brightly coloured, just like birds are today.
“In fact, a picture is emerging that many dinosaurs were not the dull-coloured, reptilian-skinned creatures that they were once thought to be” added Mr Norell.