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Feathered Non-Avian Dinosaurs from North America Provide Insight into Wing Origins

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Science  26 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6106, pp. 510-514
DOI: 10.1126/science.1225376

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  1. Fig. 1

    Juvenile Ornithomimus (TMP 2009.110.1) preserving filamentous feather traces in ferruginous residue. (A) Photograph and (B) illustration of specimen showing the distribution and orientation of filamentous feathers and the location of insets. Scale bar, 10 cm. (C) Histological photomicrograph of metatarsal, showing highly vascularized bone lacking growth lines, indicating an individual less than 1 year old. Scale bar, 0.5 mm. (D) Close-up of filaments draping ventrally over the neck region, with curved filaments (white arrow) and possible filament bundles (black arrow). Scale bar, 2 cm. (E) Close-up of distal right forelimb, displaying filaments fanning out from the midline. Calcite infilled some feathers. Scale bar, 1 cm. (F) Close-up of feather filaments following the contour of abdomen and thigh. Scale bar, 5 cm. Interpretive line drawings of (D) to (F) are available in (8). ce, cervical vertebrae; fe, femur; hu, humerus; il, ilium; mc, metacarpal; ra, radius; r, rib; ul, ulna; u, ungual phalange.

  2. Fig. 2

    Adult Ornithomimus (TMP 2008.70.1), preserving carbonized filamentous feathers. (A) Illustration of specimen showing the distribution and orientation of filamentous feathers (blue). Scale bar, 10 cm. (B) Close-up of curved filamentous feathers in inset from (A). Scale bar, 2 cm. (C) Photograph and (D) illustration of filamentous feathers along the dorsal side of the vertebral column. Scale bar, 5 cm. ce, cervical vertebrae; r, rib; sc, scapula; sk, skull.

  3. Fig. 3

    Adult Ornithomimus skeleton (TMP 1995.110.1), preserving evidence of shafted feathers. (A) Region of markings on the forelimb bones, delineated by a black rectangle. Scale bar, 50 cm. (B) Close-up of ulna (on left) and radius showing markings. Scale bar, 2 cm. (C) Schematic drawing of inset from (B), illustrating the shape, orientation, and distribution of markings on a portion of the ulna. U- and hook-shaped components are shown in blue. Scale bar, 1 cm.

  4. Fig. 4

    Ornithomimosaur plumage and its phylogenetic context. Artistic representations of (A) juvenile plumage and (B) adult plumage, both illustrated by Julius Csotonyi. (C) Phylogenetic distribution of major feather types and wings/pennibrachia in theropods. “Filamentous feathers” refer to all feathers that lack a rigid shaft [types 1, 2, and 3b of (11) and morphotypes 2 to 7 of (3)], whereas “shafted feathers” refer to all feathers that possess a rigid shaft [types 3a, 3a+b, 4, and 5 of (11) and morphotypes 8 and 9 of (3)]. Theropod phylogeny is from (35), and the reported occurrences of feathers are from (2, 36). The basalmost occurrence of winglike structures among Theropoda is in Ornithomimosauria. Forearm protuberances in a basal carcharodontosaur have been suggested to be associated with non-scale skin appendages (37) of unknown type. Green node, Theropoda. Yellow node, Maniraptora. Blue branches indicate clades that possess wings/pennibrachia. Gray wings denote clades in which at least one taxon used wings for aerial locomotion.