Scientific discoveries often come from unexpected places – like a Myanmar amber market, which is where a researcher from Dexu Institute of Palaeontology found an item that offers unique insights into feather evolution in dinosaurs. Browsing through the goods of an amber vendor, researcher Lida Xing found what turned out to be a part of a feathered dinosaur tail. This is the first feathered specimen that could be definitively linked to its source animal, a non-avialan theropod preserved in mid-Cretaceous amber about 99 million years ago. Researchers say this specimen shows the value of amber as a supplement to the fossil record.
Lida Xing, Ryan C. McKellar, Xing Xu, Gang Li, Ming Bai, W. Scott Persons IV, Tetsuto Miyashita, Michael J. Benton, Jianping Zhang, Alexander P. Wolfe, Qiru Yi, Kuowei Tseng, Hao Ran, Philip J. Currie
Corresponding Canadian author:
Ryan McKellar, Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Email: Ryan.McKellar@gov.sk.ca, Tel: 306-787-2826
Original paper published in Current Biology on December 8, 2016.