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Laser imaging reveals early origin of feathers

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JUSTINE MURPHY, SENIOR EDITOR [email protected]

Reptiles and the earliest dinosaurs are known for their scaly skin. They had no fur, no hair, and they certainly didn’t have feathers. Go back about 230 million years, however, and you’ll find a different sort of creature. Using laser-stimulated fluorescence (LSF), a team led by Nanjing University professor Baoyu Jiang — in collaboration with researchers from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Foundation for Scientific Advancement, among others — has discovered that pterosaurs (close relatives of dinosaurs) actually had feathers. This pushes back the origin...Read full article

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