Jurassic dinosaurs

Dinosaurs of a feather

ŠĒ• The Australian

It has long been thought that dinosaurs were¬†related¬†to birds…the proof is mounting as well, the latest being a full skeleton of a dinosaur with feathers:

German researchers have discovered a fossil of a feathered hatchling that may be the earliest evidence of a plumed, meat-eating dinosaur that was not closely related to birds.

The fossil is believed to belong to a young land-based dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period, some 170 million years ago, said a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Named Sciurumimus albersdoerferi, in part after its bushy, squirrel-like tail – tree squirrels come from the genus Sciurus – it is the “most complete megalosauroid fossil yet”, the study said.

Megalosauroid is the name for a wide-ranging group of carnivorous dinosaurs that could grow as big as 9m long and weigh up to one tonne.

The fossil, which shows a juvenile dinosaur with its jaws open and tail extending far over its head, was found in a quarry in Bavaria, Germany.

The hatchling likely had a large skull, shorter hind limbs and smooth skin with feathers covering its entire body.