Hi Girls! It’s Poppy, with an awesome new science discovery to share with you! When you picture a dinosaur, you probably imagine a dark, large animal with tough, scaly skin. Have you ever pictured it with feathers? Probably not. But recently, the image of what dinosaurs may have looked like changed when scientists found a dinosaur fossil with feathers! This dinosaur from China, technically called Tianyulong confuciusi, has three distinct patches of featherlike structures.
This is huge news for scientists who study dinosaurs, called paleontologists. Until this discovery, paleontologists thought that the only species of dinosaurs with feathers belonged to those that are thought to be the ancestors of modern birds, which makes sense, since modern birds have feathers. This discovery brought the idea of feathered dinosaurs to other types of species, something paleontologists never considered before. The strange thing about this discovery is that the dinosaurs might not have used their feathers to fly, like normal birds do, but just for show. Feathers of this kind might be useful to scare off rival dinosaurs or attract a mate.
It’s hard to picture a dinosaur with feathers, though. Ever since I learned what dinosaurs were, I always pictured them as these gray creatures with hard scaly bodies. It’s weird to think that one small discovery can change our entire perception of this extinct animal. Maybe all dinosaurs had feathers or maybe only some, but we may never know for sure!