Topic: Microraptor

Microraptor suggests feathers evolved to attract mates

March 8, 2012
Microraptor suggests feathers evolved to attract mates

Julia Clarke, assistant professor of paleontology, discusses how a feathered tail on birds may have evolved as a function of communication and not of aerodynamics.

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Iridescent, Feathered Dinosaur Offers Fresh Evidence That Feathers Evolved to Attract Mates

March 8, 2012

A team of American and Chinese researchers has revealed the detailed feather pattern and color of Microraptor, a pigeon-sized, four-winged dinosaur that lived about 120 million years ago. A new specimen shows the dinosaur had a glossy iridescent sheen and that its tail was narrow and adorned with a pair of streamer feathers, suggesting the importance of display in the early evolution of feathers, as presented in the March 9 edition of the journal Science.

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