Dinobird Chemistry Revealed





"Dinobird," a 150-million-year-old fossil for an animal that looked half dinosaur and half bird, has just yielded some important chemical clues, according to a study published today in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Extremely strong x-ray beams and other high tech equipment reveal that dinobird—Archaeopteryx—had dinosaur-like teeth but also features common to birds, such as feathers. What's more, the fossil retains the chemical components of those feathers, suggesting that fossilized feather material exists with the remains.

The discovery could revolutionize the field of paleontology, according to the research team led by scientists at The University of Manchester and the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. They've created maps showing the chemical elements that were part of the living animal itself.



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