Paleontologists have discovered in Liaoning province remains a small lizard with unusually short plumage, who lived in China 156 million years ago, which suggests the diversity of species of dinosaurs have feathers in the Jurassic period, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.
For a long time, paleontologists believed that none of the known species of dinosaurs had feathers, reminiscent of the decoration of modern birds. In the late 20th century, this idea beginning to change rapidly with the emergence of a growing number of finds from the Chinese province of Liaoning and Inner Mongolia, where scientists have found several species of feathered dinosaurs.
It is believed that these lizards have reached the peak of diversity in the Cretaceous period, the deposits of which scientists have found the most bizarre creatures — chetyrehkrylogo Microraptor (Microraptor zhaoianus), feathered Tyrannosaurus Yutyrannus huali, dinosaur "sloth" Beipiaosaurus inexpectus, as well as many other lizards with a variety of plumage .
Group of paleontologists led by Pascal Godefrua (Pascal Godefroit) from the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels (Belgium) has found that the flowering of feathered dinosaurs have started in the Jurassic period, and not at the end of the Cretaceous, found the remains of "trimmed" dinosaur in sedimentary rocks near the town Yaolugou in Liaoning Province.
In this area lie the so-called rock formations Tyaotszishan formed in the late Jurassic period, about 156-153 million years ago. Here Godefrua and his colleagues found the remains of a small dinosaur from the maniraptorov, which include most of the feathered dinosaurs and modern birds.
Next to dinosaur fossils, scientists have found imprints of feathers, which once seemed to them unusual. After reviewing the structure, paleontologists have found that a new type maniraptorov have very short feathers.
In addition, on the tail of the lizard was not long feathers typical of feathered dinosaurs of Jurassic. In addition, the feathers on the legs was missing reptiles, which was also unusual for dinosaurs possessed feathers. Apparently, the creature could not fly or even to plan — this stop as "trimmed" feathers and bones of the hands of dinosaur, not suitable for flapping wings.
The authors assigned this dinosaur generic and specific name Eosinopteryx brevipenna, which means "early Jurassic dinosaur with short feathers." On their anatomy, dental unit and other parts of the body this lizard is very different from other Mesozoic birds lizards, including anhiornisa (Anchiornis huxleyi) and ptitseyaschera Xiaotingia zhengi.
Unusual plumage and anatomy Eosinopteryx brevipenna shows that species diversity of feathered dinosaurs have existed in the Jurassic period, long before the expected peak of the group of reptiles in the middle and the end of the Cretaceous period are Godefrua and colleagues.