Research NewsPaleontology

Dinosaur Fossils, in Fine Feather, Show Link to Birds

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Science  26 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5372, pp. 2051
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5372.2051

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Following up on controversial reports from 2 years ago, a team of Chinese, Canadian, and American paleontologists now claims that in rich fossil beds in China they have finally discovered the real thing--dinosaurs with feathers. In reports in this week's issue of Nature and the July issue of National Geographic, they describe two species of turkey-sized theropod (meat-eating) dinosaurs that have unmistakable feathers fanning out from their forearms and tails. But doubters still contend that the ancestors of birds branched off from the reptiles before dinosaurs appeared; they say the feathers only show that the new finds are flightless birds, not dinosaurs.