April 5, 2012

Giant Feathered Tyrannosaur Found in China

Brandon Keim, Wired


AP Photo

It’s not your father’s tyrannosaur: Yutyrannus huali, a newly discovered ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, was covered from head to tail in downy feathers.

At 30 feet long and weighing 3,000 pounds, Y. huali wasn’t so large as T. rex, which came 60 million years later, but it’s the largest feathered tyrannosaur yet found. That such a big creature was feathered suggests its iconic descendant could have been similarly plumed.

The discovery provides “direct evidence for the presence of extensively feathered gigantic dinosaurs,” wrote paleontologists led by Xing Xu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in their description of the new dinosaur, published April 5 in Nature.

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TAGGED: China, Dinosaurs, Birds, Tyrannosaurus Rex

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