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"T. rex had scales, not feathers" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Double W Inactive Member06 Jun 2017 6:56 p.m. PST

Looks like you don't have to throw out your scaly T. rex minis after all. A new study has concluded that T. rex and its close relatives were covered in scales, not feathers. From National Geographic:

"Persons and his colleagues examined new skin impressions taken from T. rex fossils discovered near Baker, Montana, and compared them with fossils of other tyrannosaurs, including Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Gorgosaurus, and Tarbosaurus. The team found a pattern among the tyrannosaur kin: they all had skin textured with small, pebbly scales and not fuzzy plumage."

Still, not all tyrannosaurs were scaly. We know that a rather large tyrannosaur called Yutyrannus which almost certainly was covered in feathers. But it may be that large dinosaurs lost their feathers because they lived in warm climates and didn't need them for insulation. That's the same reason elephants in Africa and India are mostly hairless.

The funny thing is we are just now seeing feathered T. rex toys hit the market, They may already be out of date, depending on if this study holds.


rmaker06 Jun 2017 7:30 p.m. PST

Could be an age thing, too. Maybe youngsters had feathers, adults had scales.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2017 9:00 p.m. PST

Tyrannosaurus is featherless and Brontosaurus is back.

Life is good.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

M C MonkeyDew07 Jun 2017 3:16 a.m. PST

+! Bunkermeister

Double W Inactive Member07 Jun 2017 4:08 a.m. PST

Well, I hate to crush your celebrations, but several paleontologists I follow on Twitter are disputing the study. They note the fossilized skin patches come from areas of the body known to have scales. After all, birds have both feathers and scales. You may want to keep putting feathers on your T. rexes for now.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2017 5:17 a.m. PST

Chicken feet do look a bit scale-y.



Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2017 6:55 a.m. PST

Well, according to this recreation, it sure appears they have both:

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2017 8:18 a.m. PST

Planet of the Terrible Chickens in Multicolored Dreamcoats.

Yep. Science has ruined dinosaurs.


Borathan Inactive Member08 Jun 2017 10:22 p.m. PST

There's a decent explanation for what's off about the reports already out.

YouTube link

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