We all grew up under the assumption that dinosaurs were all rather scaly, however over the last few years the idea of feathery dinosaurs has been gaining popularity. When you think about it, this notion doesn’t seem so bizarre as modern day birds are known to have evolved rather directly from dinosaurs and the closest extant relative to birds is in fact crocodiles. But now finally we have some hard evidence of late cretaceous (some 70 to 80 million years ago) dinosaurs having some simple plumage which was trapped and perfectly preserved in amber. These are the first glimpses we have into the detailed structure and pigmentation of feathers belonging to early birds.

We all grew up under the assumption that dinosaurs were all rather scaly, however over the last few years the idea of feathery dinosaurs has been gaining popularity. When you think about it, this notion doesn’t seem so bizarre as modern day birds are known to have evolved rather directly from dinosaurs and the closest extant relative to birds is in fact crocodiles. But now finally we have some hard evidence of late cretaceous (some 70 to 80 million years ago) dinosaurs having some simple plumage which was trapped and perfectly preserved in amber. These are the first glimpses we have into the detailed structure and pigmentation of feathers belonging to early birds.

scientistintraining:

Baby Tinamou with an egg.
The Great Tinamous eggs are the glossiest in the bird world. Although this image is of a green egg, their eggs are also considered to be the brightest blue of all birds’ eggs.

scientistintraining:

Baby Tinamou with an egg.

The Great Tinamous eggs are the glossiest in the bird world. Although this image is of a green egg, their eggs are also considered to be the brightest blue of all birds’ eggs.

Aside from that being a supah cooyoote sparrow up there. I have some actual sciencey knowledge to pass on that I thought was cool. Female birds who whilst ovulating are exposed to predators seem to pass on a remarkable trait to their offspring. The offspring of these birds start off smaller, however what happens is that their wings grow both faster and longer than that of birds whose mothers were predator free. Other studies have also shown that young birds are ushered out of the nest faster than those of birds in predator free conditions presumably to stop them from being sitting ducks.

Aside from that being a supah cooyoote sparrow up there. I have some actual sciencey knowledge to pass on that I thought was cool. Female birds who whilst ovulating are exposed to predators seem to pass on a remarkable trait to their offspring. The offspring of these birds start off smaller, however what happens is that their wings grow both faster and longer than that of birds whose mothers were predator free. Other studies have also shown that young birds are ushered out of the nest faster than those of birds in predator free conditions presumably to stop them from being sitting ducks.