Researchers Reveal Dinosaur Feathers Are Similar to Today’s Birds: Okezone techno

STUDY X-rays revealed similarities between the feathers dinosaur with current bird feathers. The results also found a similar protein composition between the two types of animals, referring to the evolution of feathers over hundreds of millions of years.

According to a study published September 21 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, paleontologists examined three ancient animal feathers. Among others they are synornithosaur from China, which is a 125 million year old non-avian dinosaur.

Then Confucius, a 125 million year old bird also from China. And an unidentified species that lived in the Green River Formation in Wyoming 50 million years ago.

The feathers of these extinct animals were examined using X-rays and infrared rays. The researchers found evidence of the presence of beta corneal protein (CBP), formerly known as beta-keratin, which is a protein needed to strengthen feathers for flight. This multinational research team then discovered that the feathers of modern birds, including the feathers of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia), have the same chemical composition.

Quoted from Science liveOn Sunday (10/01/2023), Tiffany Slater, a postdoctoral researcher in paleobiology at University College Cork, Ireland, said that this beta protein is also present in the feathers of modern birds.

According to previous research, the fur of ancient animals was mainly composed of alpha protein which was weaker than CBP and had a completely different protein composition. According to a statement, the results of this new research reveal that CBP also transforms into alpha protein during the fossilization process.

“The dinosaur feathers we analyzed showed that they were composed primarily of beta proteins,” Slater said.

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“So, the initial report that ancient feathers were composed primarily of alpha proteins is likely a fossil artifact,” he added.

Slater also said that this new knowledge not only shows that the protein can persist in the fossil record for up to 125 million years, but also provides new insights into the evolution of prehistoric feathers by pushing the timescale beyond what researchers expected.

He also claims that modern feather chemistry is much older than previously thought. In their research, the team helped rewrite history by demonstrating that the basic components needed to power flight existed at least 125 million years ago. (Taja Aurora Bianca)

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