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Exceptional dinosaur fossils show ontogenetic development of early feathers

Published on Apr 1, 2010in Nature 41.58
· DOI :10.1038/nature08965
Xing Xu41
Estimated H-index: 41
,
Xiaoting Zheng15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Hai-Lu You20
Estimated H-index: 20
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.
  • References (26)
  • Citations (91)
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References26
Newest
Published on Feb 1, 2010in Nature 41.58
Fucheng Zhang31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Stuart L. Kearns17
Estimated H-index: 17
+ 5 AuthorsXiaolin Wang33
Estimated H-index: 33
(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.
140 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2010in Journal of Ornithology 1.95
Theagarten Lingham-Soliar13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Reports of primordial feathers (protofeathers) in dinosaurs have received widespread interest. Recently, it was proposed that a novel protofeather in the theropod dinosaur Beipiaosaurus completes the transitional series in the evolution of the feather and provides the first evidence of filamentous feathers as display in nonavian theropods. A more far-reaching evolutionary ramification is the claim that these structures push the origin of monofilamentous integumentary structures into the Middle T...
14 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 1, 2009in Nature 41.58
Dongyu Hu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Lianhai Hou1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Shenyang Normal University)
+ 1 AuthorsXing Xu41
Estimated H-index: 41
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The early evolution of the major groups of derived non-avialan theropods is not well understood, resulting in the 'temporal paradox' argument against the theropod hypothesis of avian origins. Here, a small theropod specimen collected from the earliest Late Jurassic of China is recovered that is referable to the Troodontidae, which are among the theropods most closely related to birds, thus refuting the 'temporal paradox'. Furthermore, the extensive feathering of the specimen sheds new light on t...
232 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2009in Nature 41.58
Lawrence M. Witmer31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine)
Cretaceous fossil deposits in China are famous for their feathered dinosaurs. But the surprising discovery of a herbivorous dinosaur with a filamentous coat raises fresh questions about the evolution of feathers.
8 Citations Source Cite
Xing(徐星) Xu1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Xiaoting Zheng15
Estimated H-index: 15
,
Hai-Lu You20
Estimated H-index: 20
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
Published on Jan 1, 2009
Xu Xing1
Estimated H-index: 1
Recent paleontological and neontological studies on feathers and feather-like integumentary structures have improved greatly our understanding of the origin and early evolution of feathers.New observations on some non-avian dinosaur specimens preserving integumentary structures,in combination with recent paleontological and neontological data,provide additional insights into this important evolutionary issue.Five major morphogenesis events are inferred to have occurred sequentially early in feat...
33 Citations
Published on Oct 1, 2008in Nature 41.58
Fucheng Zhang31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
ZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 2 AuthorsCorwin Sullivan22
Estimated H-index: 22
(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.
138 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2008
He Tao1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Wang Xiao1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
A new oviraptorosaur,Similicaudipteryx yixianensis gen. et sp. nov. is described from the Jiu- fotang Formation(120 Ma)of the Jehol Group in western Liaoning,China, which is referred to the Caudipteridae based on a dagger-like pygostyle and the shape of the ilium that are most similar to those of Caudipteryx.It differs from other oviraptorosaurids in that the ratio of pubis to ilium length is 1.46 and the presence of two large and deep hypapophyses on dorsal vertebrae.The known caudipterids have...
20 Citations
Published on Sep 1, 2006in Geological Journal 1.65
Zhang Fucheng2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Zhou Zhonghe8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Gareth J. Dyke28
Estimated H-index: 28
(University College Dublin)
We provide an overview of the known feather and other 'feather-like' integumentary structure types known to-date in the birds and dinosaurs from the Cretaceous rocks of Liaoning, NE China. These feather-types are classified and compared with similar structures seen in Mesozoic and extant birds. We consider that integumentary feathers and 'feather-like' structures fall within two major structural categories ('shafted' and 'non-shafted'). Comments are also made on the possible aerodynamic or insul...
48 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 15, 2005in Journal of Experimental Zoology 2.43
Richard O. Prum46
Estimated H-index: 46
(Yale University)
Feathers are complex assemblages of multiple morphological innovations. Recent research on the development and evolution of feathers has produced new insights into the origin and diversification of the morphological innovations in feathers. In this article, I review and discuss the contribution of three different factors to the evolution of morphological innovations in feathers: feather tubularity, hierarchical morphological modularity, and the co-option molecular signaling modules. The developi...
52 Citations Source Cite
Cited By91
Newest
Published on Jan 30, 2019in Scientific Reports 4.12
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Ryan C. McKellar12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Kansas)
+ 3 AuthorsLuis M. Chiappe45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)
Over the last three years, Burmese amber (~99 Ma, from Myanmar) has provided a series of immature enantiornithine skeletal remains preserved in varying developmental stages and degrees of completeness. These specimens have improved our knowledge based on compression fossils in Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, adding details of three-dimensional structure and soft tissues that are rarely preserved elsewhere. Here we describe a remarkably well-preserved foot, accompanied by part of the wing plumage. ...
Source Cite
Published on Apr 25, 2019in Scientific Reports 4.12
Rui Qiu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Xiaolin Wang33
Estimated H-index: 33
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsYiyun Ma (Capital Normal University)
Caudipteridae is a basal clade of Oviraptorosauria, all known species from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of northeastern China. They were one of the first feathered dinosaur groups discovered, and possessed avian-like pennaceous remiges and rectrices. Their discovery provided significant information on early oviraptorosaurian evolution and the origins of birds and feathers. Here we describe a new caudipterid species Xingtianosaurus ganqi gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Forma...
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Published on Jun 1, 2019in Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15.94
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Published on May 2, 2019in PLOS Computational Biology 3.96
Yaser Saffar Talori (Tsinghua University), Jing-Shan Zhao (Tsinghua University)+ 3 AuthorsJingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The origin of avian flight is one of the most controversial debates in Paleontology. This paper investigates the wing performance of Caudipteryx, the most basal non-volant dinosaur with pennaceous feathered forelimbs by using modal effective mass theory. From a mechanical standpoint, the forced vibrations excited by hindlimb locomotion stimulate the movement of wings, creating a flapping-like motion in response. This shows that the origin of the avian flight stroke should lie in a completely nat...
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Published on Jan 1, 2019in Cretaceous Research 1.93
Rebecca J. Lakin (University of Bath), Nicholas R. Longrich20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Bath)
Abstract The Spinosauridae is a specialised clade of theropod dinosaurs known from the Berriasian to the Cenomanian of Africa, South America, Europe and Asia. Spinosaurs were unusual among non-avian dinosaurs in exploiting a piscivorous niche within riverine and estuarine habitats, and they include the largest known theropod. Although fossils of giant spinosaurs are increasingly well-represented in the fossil record, little juvenile material has been described. Here, we describe new examples of ...
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Published on Jan 1, 2019in Nature Ecology and Evolution
Zixiao Yang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Nanjing University),
Baoyu Jiang13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Nanjing University)
+ 6 AuthorsMichael J. Benton66
Estimated H-index: 66
(University of Bristol)
Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to achieve true flapping flight, but in the absence of living representatives, many questions concerning their biology and lifestyle remain unresolved. Pycnofibres—the integumentary coverings of pterosaurs—are particularly enigmatic: although many reconstructions depict fur-like coverings composed of pycnofibres, their affinities and function are not fully understood. Here, we report the preservation in two anurognathid pterosaur specimens of morphologically...
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Published on Jan 1, 2019in Science China-earth Sciences 2.06
Dangpeng Xi5
Estimated H-index: 5
(China University of Geosciences),
WANXiaoqiao14
Estimated H-index: 14
(China University of Geosciences)
+ 1 AuthorsLIGang16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Cretaceous strata are widely distributed across China and record a variety of depositional settings. The sedimentary facies consist primarily of terrestrial, marine and interbedded marine-terrestrial deposits, of which marine and interbedded facies are relatively limited. Based a thorough review of the subdivisions and correlations of Cretaceous strata in China, we provide an up-to-date integrated chronostratigraphy and geochronologic framework of the Cretaceous system and its deposits in China....
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Nature Communications 12.35
Maria E. McNamara12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University College Cork),
Fucheng Zhang31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Linyi University)
+ 9 AuthorsDiane Johnson and JoyceTyldesley10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Open University)
Feathers are remarkable evolutionary innovations that are associated with complex adaptations of the skin in modern birds. Fossilised feathers in non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds provide insights into feather evolution, but how associated integumentary adaptations evolved is unclear. Here we report the discovery of fossil skin, preserved with remarkable nanoscale fidelity, in three non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs and a basal bird from the Cretaceous Jehol biota (China). The skin comprises pa...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Nature Communications 12.35
Dongyu Hu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Ministry of Land and Resources of the People's Republic of China),
Julia A. Clarke27
Estimated H-index: 27
(University of Texas at Austin)
+ 7 AuthorsXing Zhou Xu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The Jurassic Yanliao theropods have offered rare glimpses of the early paravian evolution and particularly of bird origins, but, with the exception of the bizarre scansoriopterygids, they have shown similar skeletal and integumentary morphologies. Here we report a distinctive new Yanliao theropod species bearing prominent lacrimal crests, bony ornaments previously known from more basal theropods. It shows longer arm and leg feathers than Anchiornis and tail feathers with asymmetrical vanes formi...
9 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Journal of Palaeogeography
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Pierre F.D. Cockx1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Regina)
+ 1 AuthorsJingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Over the last 20 years, compression fossils of feathers surrounding dinosaurs have greatly expanded our understanding of the origin and evolution of feathers. One of the most peculiar feather morphotypes discovered to date are rachis dominated feathers (RDFs), which have also been referred to as proximally ribbon-like pennaceous feathers (PRPFs). These elongate feathers are only found in the tail plumage, typically occurring in pairs with both streamer (not proximally ribbon-like) and racket-plu...
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