FROM THE EDUCATION DESK
Hopefully all of you got to come to the museum and see our cool Halloween decorations. We had a great time putting them up for you and everyone seemed to really have fun.
Sinosauropteryx is a small feathered dinosaur which lived during the early Cretaceous period, was about 3 ¼-4ft long, most of it being its very long tail, and weighing about 5 ½ lbs. It was discovered in China about 12 years ago, and may have used its multiple different colors for protection, a study published on 0ct. 26 2017 in the journal Current Biology revealed. Some dinosaurs showed sophisticated color patterns to hide from and confuse predators, just like today’s animals. This probably helped it from being eaten in a world filled with much larger dinosaurs, including T. rex, the researchers from Britain’s University of Bristol determined. Researchers mapped how dark pigmented feathers were distributed across the body and revealed some distinctive color patterns. These patterns can be seen in modern animals where they serve as different types of camouflage. A striped tail may have been used to confuse both predators and prey. “Color patterns very much resemble modern counterparts,” said Jakob Vinther, the study’s senior author. An overwhelming majority of paleontologists agree that this dinosaur had a covering of primitive feathers around its body. An alternative opinion has also been proposed that these are the remains of collagen fibers. It has also been noted that patches appear on the sides of the body, back, neck, skull, arms, leg and the top and bottom of the tail, suggesting that the animal was completely covered with these “feathers” in life.
One fossil was found with a number of eggs, two of which can be clearly seen. It is not thought that these eggs were eaten by the dinosaur because of where they were found in the animal’s body. Instead it is thought that these eggs were the dinosaur’s own unlaid offspring. Each egg is about 1 inch wide and just under 1 ½ inches long. This specimen was also found with the remains of a lizard in its stomach. A second fossil was found to contain the remains of jawbones belonging to three small mammals.
Sinosauropteryx was a close relative of Compsognathus and named in 1996.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!