'Fluffy' dinosaurs were widespread 恐龙羽化现象普遍

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Image caption What did dinosaurs really look like?

在俄罗斯西伯利亚地区发现的一组最新的恐龙化石表明恐龙羽化现象可能比原来科学家们想象中更早而且更普遍。这项研究已在《科学》杂志中发表。 请听 BBC 记者 Pallab Ghosh 发回的报道。

The creature was about a metre long with a short snout, long hind legs, short arms and five strong fingers. Until now, fossilised evidence of feathery dinosaurs has come from China, and from a meat-eating group called theropods.

The latest discovery – in Russia – is from a completely separate group of plant-eating dinosaurs called ornithischians.

The new find takes the origin of feathers millions of years further back in time than had previously been thought. And, according to the researchers, completely changed ideas about how dinosaurs evolved.

Instead of thinking of them as dry, scary scaly creatures, a lot of species, especially when very young, actually had a fluffy, downy covering like feathers on a chick, they say. And did so when dinosaurs first emerged.