You’ve never seen a dinosaur, naturally, but you probably have a pretty good idea of what they look like. We’ve seen the same look over and over, across dozens of movies, books and museums: there’s the balanced tail, the lizard-shaped head and, most of all, dark and tough scales.
But a new find in Siberia has paleontologists suspecting that look may be flat wrong. A team of researchers led by Pascal Godefroit has found a new dinosaur with ultra-thin feathers, joining other feathered species found in China and North America. More importantly, the new find is the first non-carnivorous dinosaur with feathers, which many in the field have taken as evidence that feathers were far more widespread than previously thought. If they’re right, a big part of the way we think of dinosaurs may have to change.
Godefriot’s new creature is called the Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus — a Jurassic creature about a meter and a half long, with large legs, short arms, and a very long tail. Because of the unusually well-preserved fossil, Godefroit could tell the Kulindadromeushad feathering on its torso and neck, but not its face, legs, or tail.