Dinosaur Feathers Found in Ancient Amber

More and more evidence of feathered dinosaurs comes to light as scientists look in different places. Paleontologists in Canada began digging through large museum collections of amber searching for tiny pieces of feathers that no one would bother with before.

The researchers combed through thousands of minuscule amber nuggets from nearly 80 million years ago. Among them they found 11 M&M-sized globules with traces of ancient feathers and fuzz. A number resembled modern feathers—some fit for flying and others designed to dive. And unlike fossils, the amber preserved colors too: white, gray, red and brown.

But a few hollow hair-like structures stumped researchers. The unidentifiable filaments weren’t plant fibers, fungus or fur, so the researchers surmise that they are protofeathers (thought to be the evolutionary precursors to feathers).

See more pictures at Discover magazine. Link -via Digg

(Image credit: Science/AAAS)


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