Feathered dinosaur tail found preserved in amber


This is very cool – the tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar. The one-of-a-kind discovery helps put flesh on the bones of these extinct creatures, opening a new window on the biology of a group that dominated Earth for more than 160 million years.

Examination of the specimen suggests the tail was chestnut brown on top and white on its underside.

Read the article from the BBC news.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #2

Simply amazing, just imagining this creature:

The 99-million-year-old amber had already been polished for jewellery and the seller had thought it was plant material. On closer inspection, however, it turned out to be the tail of a feathered dinosaur about the size of a sparrow. […]

“We can be sure of the source because the vertebrae are not fused into a rod or pygostyle as in modern birds and their closest relatives,” he explained.

“Instead, the tail is long and flexible, with keels of feathers running down each side.”


The fused pygostyle in birds adds stability for flight.

(Joshua Hedlund) #4

Previous discussions, FYI:

(Christy Hemphill) #5

Thanks Josh for pointing this out. I read the OP linked story to my kids for current events, and then we were like, wait a minute, we’ve seen these pictures and read about this before.


Sorry about that. I got it from Nick Matzke’s facebook feed a few days ago and didn’t think to check the date.

(Christy Hemphill) #7

And all of us just automatically assume beaglelady is the most hip and in-the-know when it comes to science news releases, so I didn’t check it either. :wink:

(Joshua Hedlund) #8

It’s still really awesome!

(system) #9

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