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Phylogenetic placement, developmental trajectories and evolutionary implications of a feathered dinosaur tail in Mid-Cretaceous amber

Published on Mar 1, 2017in Current Biology9.19
· DOI :10.1016/j.cub.2017.01.029
Markus Lambertz6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Bonn)
Abstract
Summary In a recent report in Current Biology , Xing and colleagues [1] present a small fragment of a vertebrate tail preserved in amber that bears integumentary appendages (DIP-V-15103, Dexu Institute of Paleontology, Chaozhou, China; Figure 1). Following several analyses using cutting-edge technology the authors conclude that: the tail belongs to a non-avian theropod dinosaur (non-avialan according to the authors, but non-avian used synonymously here); the dinosaur most likely was a member of the Coelurosauria, possibly even Maniraptora; and, the integumentary appendages are feathers that support a barbule-first evolutionary pattern for feathers. DIP-V-15103 is indeed an intriguing specimen with potential implications for contributing to understanding the evolution of feathers among dinosaurs, which remains a current and undoubtedly controversial topic [2,3]. However, I would like to raise several concerns about the available evidence for the phylogenetic hypothesis concerning the placement of DIP-V-15103 as concluded by Xing and colleagues [1], and furthermore discuss the developmental trajectories predicted by them in light of their far-reaching evolutionary implications.
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  • References (7)
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References7
Newest
#1Lida Xing (China University of Geosciences)H-Index: 18
#2Ryan C. McKellar (University of Regina)H-Index: 5
Last.Alexander P. Wolfe (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 47
view all 14 authors...
#1Marie-Claire Koschowitz (GAU: University of Göttingen)H-Index: 2
#2Markus Lambertz (University of Bonn)H-Index: 6
Last.P Martinsander (University of Bonn)H-Index: 32
view all 4 authors...
#1Xing XuH-Index: 41
#2Xiaoting Zheng (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 15
Last.Hai-Lu YouH-Index: 20
view all 3 authors...
Cited By2
Newest
#1Dana Rashid (MSU: Montana State University)H-Index: 2
#2Kevin Surya (MSU: Montana State University)
Last.John R. Horner (MSU: Montana State University)H-Index: 41
view all 10 authors...
#1Lida Xing (China University of Geosciences)H-Index: 18
#2Ryan C. McKellar (University of Regina)H-Index: 5
Last.Philip J. Currie (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 50
view all 14 authors...
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