Sunday, 28 November 2021

Piece of Dinosaur Tail found in Amber

At a market in northern Burma in 2017, Lida Xing noticed a chunk of amber with a dark blotch inside. The impurity — plant matter, it seemed at first — made the amber far less valuable. But it made the specimen priceless to Xing. Trapped inside the amber was a piece of dinosaur tail, complete with feathers preserved in microscopic detail. Researchers believe the 3.7-centimetre-long section of tail — eight vertebrae wrapped in skin and soft tissue and covered with pigmented plumage — belonged to a theropod that lived in the mid-Cretaceous, about 99 myo. Amber containing feathered dinosaur-era remains reported before included the discovery of a wing from a primitive Cretaceous bird.
Most scientists now accept that many dinosaurs were feathered, and this discovery will help answer questions about exactly what those dinosaurs looked like and how feathers evolved.