Scientists for the first time discovered a dinosaur material, a beautiful dinosaur tail that is perfectly preserved in amber.
The discovery of the tail with chestnut brown on top and white on its underside in a 99-million-year-old amber didn't start with the scientists first. It was first discovered at an amber market in Myitkina, Myanmar. The scientists had to track down the amber miner who had originally dug out the specimen for them to know where exactly it had been first discovered.
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The unique structure of the feathers and the tail anatomy, no doubt belonged to a feathered dinosaur and not an ancient bird.
Ryan McKellar of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada and the co-author of the report made on this feathered dinosaur tail
explained, "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. Instead, the tail is long and flexible, with keels of feathers running down each side."
McKellar said that there was a sign of a presence of fluid in the amber and that indicates the dinosaur may have been alive as it got trapped in the tree resin which eventually formed into amber. The specimen also showed traces of ferrous iron, a relic of blood.
The feathers characterized the lack of central shaft, a rachis which is known from modern birds.
Dr Paul Barrett, from London's Natural History Museum hailed the importance of this discovery.
"Feathers have been recovered in amber before, so that aspect isn't new, but what this new specimen shows is the 3D arrangement of feathers in a Mesozoic dinosaur/bird for the first time, as almost all of the other feathered dinosaur fossils and Mesozoic bird skeletons that we have are flattened and 2D only, which has obscured some important features of their anatomy."
It was possible that the other parts of this feathered dinosaurs may have been broken up in the mining process. Had it not been the case and it was included in their findings, they would be able to tell if the dinosaur was a flying or gliding animal.
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