Brevia

Feather Quill Knobs in the Dinosaur Velociraptor

Science  21 Sep 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5845, pp. 1721
DOI: 10.1126/science.1145076

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Abstract

Some nonavian theropod dinosaurs were at least partially covered in feathers or filamentous protofeathers. However, a complete understanding of feather distribution among theropod dinosaurs is limited because feathers are typically preserved only in lagerst�tten like that of Solnhofen, Germany or Liaoning, China. Such deposits possess clear taphonomic biases toward small-bodied animals, limiting our knowledge regarding feather presence in larger members of feathered clades. We present direct evidence of feathers in Velociraptor mongoliensis based on the presence of quill knobs on the posterior forearm. This report of secondaries in a larger-bodied, derived, and clearly flightless member of a nonavian theropod clade represented by feathered relatives is a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the evolution of feathers.

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