Everyone knows, however little, the great dominants of the Earth for more than 160 million years, the dinosaurs. The fossilized remains have been key to his research and to get a first approximation to these fantastic animals. Who has not imagined ever seeing them with their own eyes as in Jurassic Park? And, to this day, we continue to be speechless with them.
A study from the University of Bristol has released new details about what dinosaur feathers were like , and has produced the most accurate representation possible of any dinosaur species to date.
The successors of these creatures are the popularly known as birds. The birds are like that, the direct and evolved descendants of a group of carnivorous and feathered dinosaurs that, together with the real birds, are known as Paravianos, a family to which also belongs the cunning and fast Velociraptor.
Precisely, an egg of dinosaur paraviro Anviornis has made possible the novel representation of the figure of these feathered. The process has been to compare their fossilized feathers with those of other extinct dinosaurs and birds. Through decomposition techniques, a selection of feathers was separated before burial and fossilization, making its structure easier to interpret.
Fisonomy of the Anviornis
During the investigation, a primitive pen form was discovered. This is short, with long, independent and flexible spikes that come out at low angles to form two blades. Such feathers would have given the Anviornis a fluffy appearance. A detail that contrasts with the body of the current flying birds, since their feathers have closed and narrow paddles forming a continuous and smooth surface.
With these characteristics, Anviornis would have more difficulty controlling its temperature or repelling water. This plumage would be less effective, as they lacked the aerodynamic and asymmetric paddles of modern birds.
Another of the most noticeable differences is that these primitive birds had multiple rows of long feathers on the wing. On the other hand, in the current ones, most of the surface of said member is formed by a single row of feathers.
However, one of the most outstanding peculiarities is that the Anviornis, like other species of Paravianos, had four wings and all their body was formed by long feathers, even by the legs and tail.
From the find to the canvas
The last step was to draw the animal in the most faithful and approximate way his past life. The illustrator and scientist, Rebecca Gelernter, has been one of the main responsible for capturing the data obtained and reconstructing the image of these feathers.
The patterns for coloring Anviornis have been known from studies of fossilized pigments. Through an examination of fossils under fluorescence, it has been possible to construct the outline of the animal’s flesh. And previous research has described the succession of the multiple levels of feathers on the wings.
The new piece represents in this way a radical and historical change in the representations of dinosaurs.