Exceptional dinosaur fossils show ontogenetic development of early feathers

Published on Apr 1, 2010in Nature 41.58
· DOI :10.1038/nature08965
Xing Xu39
Estimated H-index: 39
,
Xiaoting Zheng14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Hai-Lu You17
Estimated H-index: 17
Abstract
Study of two specimens of the feathered dinosaur Similicaudipteryx shows that the morphology of dinosaur feathers changed dramatically as the animals matured. Moreover, the morphology of feathers in dinosaurs was much more varied than one would expect from looking at feathers in modern birds.
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  • Citations (89)
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References24
Published on Jun 15, 1996
Rudolf A. Raff51
Estimated H-index: 51
In the book, "Embryos, Genes, and Evolution", Raff and co-author Thomas Kaufman proposed a synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology. In "The Shape of Life", Raff analyzes the rise of this experimental discipline and lays out research questions, hypotheses and approaches to guide its development. Raff uses the evolution of animal body plans to exemplify the interplay between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary patterns. Animal body plans emerged half a billion years ago. Evolutio...
871 Citations
Published on Feb 1, 2010in Nature 41.58
Fucheng Zhang31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Stuart L. Kearns16
Estimated H-index: 16
+ 5 AuthorsXiaolin Wang30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Here the presence of melanosomes — characteristic bodies that give feathers their colour — is demonstrated in feathers and feather-like structures of fossil early birds and dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of China. Not only is it shown that the feather–like structures of dinosaurs such as Sinosauropteryx really are akin to feathers, it is also possible to speculate in an informed way about their colour.
137 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 8, 2000in Science 41.06
Fucheng Zhang31
Estimated H-index: 31
A fossil enantiornithine bird, Protopteryx fengningensis gen. et sp. nov., was collected from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Northern China. it provides fossil evidence of a triosseal canal in early birds. The manus and the alular digit are long, as in Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis, but are relatively short in other enantiornithines. The alula or bastard wing is attached to an unreduced alular digit. The two central tail feathers are scalelike without branching. This type of feather...
181 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 23, 2008in Nature 41.58
Fucheng Zhang31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Xing Xu39
Estimated H-index: 39
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 2 AuthorsCorwin Sullivan20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
This paper presents another chapter in the earliest history of birds, with the discovery of a feathered dinosaur from the Mid to Late Jurassic of China. Living a little earlier than the famous fossil bird Archaeopteryx, the newly discovered creature is birdlike in many ways including the presence of four very long tail feathers, but otherwise no sign of flight feathers of the kind seen in birdlike dinosaurs such as Microraptor.
136 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2002in The Quarterly Review of Biology 2.32
Richard O. Prum44
Estimated H-index: 44
(University of Kansas),
Alan H. Brush18
Estimated H-index: 18
ABSTRACT Progress on the evolutionary origin and diversification of feathers has been hampered by conceptual problems and by the lack of plesiomorphic feather fossils. Recently, both of these limitations have been overcome by the proposal of the developmental theory of the origin of feathers, and the discovery of primitive feather fossils on nonavian theropod dinosaurs. The conceptual problems of previous theories of the origin of feathers are reviewed, and the alternative developmental theory i...
193 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 1972in Biochemical Genetics 1.93
Alan H. Brush18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Connecticut)
Differences are demonstrated in electrophoretic patterns of SCM proteins extracted from the shaft and vane between the plumulaceous and pennaceous portions of normal feathers. Supportive evidence for these differences is given by scanning electron micrographs. In various mutant feathers, the observed structural and electrophoretic differences were due to the distribution of plumulaceous and pennaceous parts, not to new proteins. Feather mutants appear to be due to regulatory gene changes rather ...
21 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2002in Nature 41.58
Mingke Yu5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Southern California),
Ping Wu21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of Southern California)
+ 1 AuthorsCheng-Ming Chuong60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University of Southern California)
regenerating flight feather follicles of chickens. We show that the antagonistic balance between noggin and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) has a critical role in feather branching, with BMP4 promoting rachis formation and barb fusion, and noggin enhancing rachis and barb branching. Furthermore, we show that sonic hedgehog (Shh) is essential for inducing apoptosis of the marginal plate epithelia, which results in spaces between barbs. Our analyses identify the molecular pathways underlying t...
153 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 15, 2003in Journal of Experimental Zoology 2.43
Cheng-Ming Chuong60
Estimated H-index: 60
(University of Southern California),
Ping Wu21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of Southern California)
+ 5 AuthorsLianhai Hou8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
In this special issue on the Evo-Devo of amniote integuments, Alibardi has discussed the adaptation of the integument to the land. Here we will discuss the adaptation to the sky. We first review a series of fossil discoveries representing intermediate forms of feathers or feather-like appendages from dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds from the Jehol Biota of China. We then discuss the molecular and developmental biological experiments using chicken integuments as the model. Feather forms can be modula...
54 Citations Source Cite
Matthew P. Harris25
Estimated H-index: 25
,
Scott Williamson22
Estimated H-index: 22
+ 2 AuthorsRichard O. Prum44
Estimated H-index: 44
The developmental basis of morphological complexity remains a central question in developmental and evolutionary biology. Feathers provide a unique system to analyze the development of complex morphological novelties. Here, we describe the interactions between Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp2) signaling during feather barb ridge morphogenesis. We demonstrate that activator–inhibitor models of Shh and Bmp2 signaling in the tubular feather epithelium are sufficient to ex...
98 Citations Source Cite
Xing(徐星) Xu1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Xiaoting Zheng14
Estimated H-index: 14
,
Hai-Lu You17
Estimated H-index: 17
All described feathers in nonavian theropods are composite structures formed by multiple filaments. They closely resemble relatively advanced stages predicted by developmental models of the origin of feathers, but not the earliest stage. Here, we report a feather type in two specimens of the basal therizinosaur Beipiaosaurus, in which each individual feather is represented by a single broad filament. This morphotype is congruent with the stage I morphology predicted by developmental models, and ...
54 Citations Source Cite
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  • Citations (89)
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Cited By89
Published on Jan 1, 2010in Nature China
Felix Cheung F1
Estimated H-index: 1
Published on Jan 1, 2011in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1.76
Joseph G. Sinkovics7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of South Florida)
This article reviews the history of widespread exchanges of genetic segments initiated over 3 billion years ago, to be part of their life style, by sphero-protoplastic cells, the ancestors of archaea, prokaryota, and eukaryota. These primordial cells shared a hostile anaerobic and overheated environment and competed for survival. "Coexist with, or subdue and conquer, expropriate its most useful possessions, or symbiose with it, your competitor" remain cellular life's basic rules. This author emp...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2015in Evolution 3.82
Walter S. Persons2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Alberta),
Philip J. Currie45
Estimated H-index: 45
(University of Alberta)
Over the course of the last two decades, the understanding of the early evolution of feathers in nonavian dinosaurs has been revolutionized. It is now recognized that early feathers had a simple form comparable in general structure to the hairs of mammals. Insight into the prevalence of simple feathers throughout the dinosaur family tree has gradually arisen in tandem with the growing evidence for endothermic dinosaur metabolisms. This has led to the generally accepted opinion that the early fea...
14 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2014in BMC Evolutionary Biology 3.03
Taiping Gao9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Capital Normal University),
Chungkun Shih18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Capital Normal University)
+ 3 AuthorsDong Ren25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Capital Normal University)
Background Fleas, the most notorious insect ectoparasites of human, dogs, cats, birds, etc., have recently been traced to its basal and primitive ancestors during the Middle Jurassic. Compared with extant fleas, these large basal fleas have many different features. Although several fossil species with transitional morphologies filled the evolutionary blank, the early evolution of these ectoparasites is still poorly known.
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2012in Current Biology 9.25
Xing Xu39
Estimated H-index: 39
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Summary Scientists long thought they knew what the wings of early birds looked like. But new reconstructions of Archaeopteryx and its kin suggest quite different feather arrangements on their wings with profound implications for the evolution of flight.
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Published on Dec 1, 2015in Journal of Ornithology 1.95
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
New discoveries of fossil birds belonging to the Jehol Biota uncovered from Lower Cretaceous lacustrine deposits in northeastern China continue to greatly enrich our understanding of the first major avian radiation. The exceptional preservation of some fossils provides a rare chance to discuss many biological issues that are usually impossible to address in paleontological studies, such as: the ossification pattern of the sternum in the extinct group Enantiornithes, which is unlike that of moder...
16 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2013in Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15.94
Robert J. Knell20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Queen Mary University of London),
Darren Naish20
Estimated H-index: 20
(National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
+ 1 AuthorsDavid W. E. Hone19
Estimated H-index: 19
(University of Bristol)
Many fossil animals bear traits such as crests or horns that probably functioned as sexually selected signals or weapons. Interpretations of these structures as functioning in mate choice or intrasexual contests are often controversial, with interpretations based on biomechanics or physiology being favoured by many. Although testing hypotheses based on sexual selection can be difficult, especially given that there is no single, reliable means of recognising sexual selection, we argue that it is ...
43 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2012in Acta Geologica Sinica-english Edition 2.51
Peng Nan4
Estimated H-index: 4
(China University of Geosciences),
Liu Yongqing5
Estimated H-index: 5
+ 2 AuthorsXu Huan1
Estimated H-index: 1
: Northeastern China contains widely distributed Jurassic terrestrial strata that have yielded many spectacular mammal and pterosaur fossils, in addition to feathered dinosaur fossils and more recent discoveries from Jianchang, particularly from western Liaoning. However, the fossil-bearing stratigraphic succession, regional correlation, and age estimates of the fossils found in Jianchang County and nearby areas have been contentious. Here, we report on the vertebrate fossil-bearing Jurassic str...
16 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 7, 2011in PLOS ONE 2.77
Xia Wang9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University College Dublin),
Alistair J. McGowan3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Glasgow),
Gareth J. Dyke26
Estimated H-index: 26
(National Oceanography Centre)
We investigated the relationship between wing element proportions and flight mode in a dataset of living avian species to provide a framework for making basic estimates of the range of flight styles evolved by Mesozoic birds. Our results show that feather length (fprim) and total arm length (ta) (sum of the humerus, ulna and manus length) ratios differ significantly between four flight style groups defined and widely used for living birds and as a result are predictive for fossils. This was conf...
22 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2014in Palaeontology 3.73
Anthony J. Martin11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Monash University),
Patricia Vickers Rich1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Monash University, Clayton campus)
+ 1 AuthorsWalter David Michael Hall2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Monash University)
Two thin-toed tridactyl tracks in a fluvial sandstone bed of the Eumeralla Formation (Albian) at Dinosaur Cove (Victoria, Australia) were likely made by avian trackmakers, making these the oldest known fossil bird tracks in Australia and the only Early Cretaceous ones from Gondwana. These tracks, which co-occur on the same surface with a slightly larger nonavian theropod track, are distinguishable by their anisodactyl form, hallux impressions and wide digit II–IV divarication angles. A lengthy h...
8 Citations Source Cite