What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word dinosaur? Some words would most likely be big, strong, and scaly. Well, scaly might not be the right word to describe dinosaurs based on new discoveries .
Above is a comparison of a scene from the movie Jurassic World, with the top image being modified to show how these raptors could have looked with feathers (they look pretty cute if you ask me).
Previously, it was only theropod dinosaurs that were considered to have feathers, based on fossils found in China over the past twenty years. However, fossilized feathers were found in Siberia of a dinosaur called Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus (what a mouthful). This dino is not part of the theropod family, causing Pascal Godefroit, paleontologist, to believe that all families of dinosaurs had feathers (Dan Vergano, National Geographic).
So what does this tell us about dinosaurs? According to Stephen J. Bodio of Living Bird magazine, dinosaurs and birds are more similar than we thought. Bodio describes the respiratory systems of birds, and compares the similarity to that of dinosaurs. This respiratory system is more effective than mammals and reptiles because it allows the body to get more oxygen. This surely benefited the dinosaurs that lived in an anoxic atmosphere (Stephen J. Bodio, AllAboutBirds.org).
Not only is this new information really cool for artists and dinosaur enthusiasts, but this helps us to understand the link between birds and dinosaurs and it demonstrates evidence of evolution.