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Huge Feathered Chinese Dinosaur: Yutyrannus
Yutyrannus huali – A giant feathered dinosaur from China
Paleontologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology (Beijing, China) have published a scientific paper on a newly described feathered dinosaur. In recent years, many new types of feathered dinosaur fossils have been discovered in northern China’s Liaoning province. However, this new dinosaur was discovered, named Yutyrannus huali stands out for several reasons. Firstly, the specimens are well preserved and almost complete, secondly, individuals of different sizes, one adult and two children, are found, helping scientists to understand how these animals grew and thirdly – Y. huali big At nine meters long and weighing over a ton (estimated at 1,400 kilograms), this dinosaur was one of the largest feathered creatures known to science. As if that wasn’t enough to make dinosaur fans wag their tails and roar with excitement, it looks like this new feathered giant may have been the first member of the Tyrannosaurs, the famous clade of dinosaurs. the Theropods which includes the Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus and of course. T. rex.
Gigantoraptor competes as the largest known hairy creature
Several websites have reported on the sighting, with some claiming that the new species is the largest feathered creature known to science. It is true that when compared to the Therizinosaur Beipiaosaurus (Beipiaosaurus inexpectus), a feathered dinosaur also from Liaoning Province was very large. Beipiaosaurus is estimated to have been around 2.5 meters long and weighed eighty kilograms, but Oviraptorid researchers have forgotten – Gigantoraportor erlianensis, It was discovered in 2005 during a trip to Mongolia by scientists from a Beijing-based institute. Indeed, some of the team that studied the eight-foot Gigantoraptor had already worked on this new feathered dinosaur. Gigantoraptor is estimated to be taller than a giraffe.
Yutyrannus related to Tyrannosaurus rex
Analysis of the skull material suggests that Yutyrannnus was a member of the Tyrannosaur family, the Tyrannosauroid, although it was not the ancestor of the famous dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus rex, it is a carnivore and may be the top predator in its habitat. The name Yutyrannus means “powerful with beautiful feathers”, in recognition of the evidence of long, filamentous feathers found in fossil remains and the classification of this new type of dinosaur as a Tyrannosaur. .
A dinosaur from the early Cretaceous
Yutyrannus huali Moved into northern China about 125 million years ago (Barremian phase of early Cretaceous fauna). The Tyrannosaur family can be found in the Late Jurassic, Xu Xing one of the Chinese paleontologists involved in the study of Yutyrannus was responsible for the name and description of Guanlong. (Additional informationme), a key member of the Tyrannosaurs that lived about thirty million years earlier.
Yutyrannus up to nine meters in length
The large skeleton is about nine meters long and indicates that this new dinosaur would have rivaled Gigantoraptor for the title of the largest feathered creature known to science. The other two characters are thought to represent immature individuals rather than the second type. This was determined by Chinese researchers who noticed that several skeletons (bones) were not fully assembled, indicating that these fossils represent immature creatures. However, these young people are already heavy. Each should have weighed as much as a milch cow.
Evidence of feathers
All three fossils show evidence that these dinosaurs had feather-like filaments adorning their bodies. Some feathers are at least fifteen inches long. In adults, traces of feathers can be seen on the tail, with immature animals, feathers appear on the neck and down the humerus (upper arm) in of one specimen and near the hips and legs of another. Taken together, it can be assumed that a single Yutyrannus may have been fully feathered. Sure, young animals can be completely covered in feathers, feathers help keep this warm dinosaur cool. Older animals, with larger bodies, which can retain heat better (surface area in terms of volume), may not be full of feathers. It is likely that as the animals grew, feathers became important, not for protection from the cold in northern China, but for display or to show status in the “sheep”.
This new research, which was reported in the academic journal “Nature”, suggests what several paleontologists thought for a long time, that even the largest Theropods could have had feathers. Of course, due to the size of these people, these dinosaurs could not fly, but the feathers had another purpose – to signal between other members of the species or perhaps to protect the animal from the cold. .
The Chinese team is using microscopes and other techniques to try to identify the color of the feathers, which could give scientists more data about the purpose of the feathers. Their findings have reignited the debate as to whether other Cretaceous Tyrannosaurs such as T. rex there were also feathers.
Despite the large deposits of coal found in the Northern Hemisphere (Canada and Siberia), which date back to the early Cretaceous, suggest that the climate was warmer than today, the high latitude associated with these fossils indicates that the environment of these giant Theropods. It can be very cold to walk around. Analysis of oxygen isotope ratios obtained from Yutyrannus teeth indicates that the climate in this area of China is similar to that of present-day northern China. It is estimated that the average annual temperature is around ten degrees Celsius – colder than in other parts of the world where dinosaur remains have been found. This finding adds weight to the hypothesis that feathers helped keep these creatures warm, and protected their bodies from the cold.
Regardless of the function of feathers, the research team concluded that Yutyrannus shows that the reduction of feathers is not an inevitable result of having a large body.
Liaoning Province has provided so much evidence of small feathered dinosaurs that many scientists have suggested that it is only a matter of time before we find evidence of large feathered dinosaurs.
Direct Evidence of Large Feathered Dinosaurs
Yutyrannus huali provides direct evidence that large feathered dinosaurs existed. It provides new insights into the origin and evolution of feathers, which are highly modified reptile scales. The presence of two juveniles allows scientists to study the changes in these animals as they grow (assistance in ontogeny studies). Described as a basal tyrannosauroid, Yutyrannus is similar to other ancient tyrannosaurs found in northern China, although it differs from the later ones. T. rex it had three fingers on its arms, which were much larger than the arms of later Tyrannosaurs.
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