Wednesday, March 15, 2006

 

New fossil complicates picture of feather evolution

"NEW YORK - A 150 million-year-old fossil from southern Germany has paleontologists ruffled over how feathers arose in the line of dinosaurs that eventually produced birds.

The fossil is a juvenile carnivorous dinosaur about 2 1/2 feet long that paleontologists have named Juravenator for the Jura mountains in southern Germany where it was found.

It would have looked similar in life to the fleet-footed predators that menaced a young girl on the beach during the opening scene of The Lost World, the second Jurassic Park movie.

The fossil's exceptionally well-preserved bone structure clearly puts it among feathered kin on the dinosaur family tree."

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