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Feathered Velociraptor?

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posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 12:31 PM
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New article in science this week:


Science 21 September 2007:
Vol. 317. no. 5845, p. 1721
DOI: 10.1126/science.1145076
Prev | Table of Contents | Next

Brevia

Feather Quill Knobs in the Dinosaur Velociraptor

Alan H. Turner,1* Peter J. Makovicky,2 Mark A. Norell1

Some nonavian theropod dinosaurs were at least partially covered in feathers or filamentous protofeathers. However, a complete understanding of feather distribution among theropod dinosaurs is limited because feathers are typically preserved only in lagerstätten like that of Solnhofen, Germany or Liaoning, China. Such deposits possess clear taphonomic biases toward small-bodied animals, limiting our knowledge regarding feather presence in larger members of feathered clades. We present direct evidence of feathers in Velociraptor mongoliensis based on the presence of quill knobs on the posterior forearm. This report of secondaries in a larger-bodied, derived, and clearly flightless member of a nonavian theropod clade represented by feathered relatives is a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the evolution of feathers.

www.sciencemag.org...


(A) Dorsal view of right ulna of Velociraptor IGM 100/981. (B) Detail of red box in (A), with arrows showing six evenly spaced feather quill knobs. In (B), a cast of IGM 100/981 was used. (C) Dorsal view of right ulna of a turkey vulture (Cathartes). (D) Same view of Cathartes as in (C) but with soft tissue dissected to reveal placement of the secondary feathers and greater secondary coverts relative to the quill knobs. (E) Detail of Cathartes, with one quill completely removed to reveal quill knob. (F) Same view as in (E) but with quill reflected to the left to show placement of quill, knob, and follicular ligament. Follicular ligament indicated with arrow.

More details on Pharyngula

So, it appears that velociraptor had a number of feathers on their arms. Obviously unrelated to flight, maybe for display or some other purpose.

Even less than half a wing had some use...

[edit on 21-9-2007 by melatonin]




posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by melatonin
 


dammit, this will add a brand new dynamic to the raptor dreams i've been having since i saw jurassic park...

cool find, though



posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 01:08 PM
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I heard about that a few weeks ago! Dinsoaur artists have been drawing feathered raptors for awhile (some of the pictures are pretty cool.)

I like some of these guys:
www.calacademy.org...

www.dinosaur.org...

And the feathered T-Rexoid is pretty cool, too:
news.nationalgeographic.com...



posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 04:21 PM
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melatonin, interesting find and I have heard about this from the BBC News and the New Scientist. Your point is that even half wings had an advantage over non-wings so why did all raptors in that area not have wings? I suppose that there are a number of factors involved including geographical isolation or specific feeding patterns leading to speciation; mating habits and climatological factors.
I think you may be oversimplifying the situation a tiny bit mate and sorry to hear about the Fiji result. Never mind, leave it to us Scots!



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by Heronumber0
Your point is that even half wings had an advantage over non-wings so why did all raptors in that area not have wings? I suppose that there are a number of factors involved including geographical isolation or specific feeding patterns leading to speciation; mating habits and climatological factors.


Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't. I could imagine that some had pronounced feathers, some had just downy type feathers. Only time will tell.

We can only guess at the reason what they used feathers for. I guess we can look at flightless birds and get some indication of possible uses. Thus, they could be used for aiding balance, heat regulation, display etc.

But the main point was that feathers seem to more common in some dinosaurs than previously thought. So, even half a wing could be useful. It is generally the way of evolution, take a feature and alter for other uses.


I think you may be oversimplifying the situation a tiny bit mate and sorry to hear about the Fiji result. Never mind, leave it to us Scots!


Heh, yeah t'was a very bad result. Luckily I can take my support to England, as I generally claim dual allegiance - being of welsh ancestory, growing up on the other side of the border, now in wales.

I think more misery is ahead though...



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