Dinosaur with ‘hair’, ‘ribbons’ have been described by scientists

Scientists recently discovered a dinosaur species consisting of long, smooth, stiff shoulder straps of keratin and a mane of hair-like structures.

Named as Ubirajara jubatus, the animal was the size of a chicken and lived about 110 million years ago (Aptian stage of the Cretaceous period) in modern-day Brazil. A ribbons each with a small pointed ridge running in the middle. His arms were covered in fur-like filaments down to his hands.

Common Luxquine / Wikimedia

Normal inside, amazing outside

Inside, it was normal, with a skeleton resembling many small dinosaurs from the previous Jurassic Age, scientists said Tuesday. On the outside, it was nothing but.

“There are plenty of other weird dinosaurs, but this one is unlike any of them,” said David Martill, a professor of paleobiology at the University of Portsmouth in England, who helped lead the study. published in the journal Cretaceous Research.

Ubirajara hair-like structures appear to be a basic form of feathers called protofeathers. This was not real hair, just a mammal feature. Many dinosaurs had feathers. In fact, birds emerged from small feathered dinosaurs about 150m years ago.

Bob Nicholls, paleocreations.com.

Unique for a dinosaur

“Apparently from a distance he looked hairier than feathers,” said Martill. “Protofeathers look like hair on much of his body but are only preserved on the neck, back and arms. The ones on his back are very long and give him a kind of mane that is unlike dinosaurs. “

Ubirajara ribbon-like structures may have been used for the display, perhaps to attract companions or intimidating enemies or in interfaith conflict, Martill added. Demonstrations like this are often made by male animals – think twisted peacock tail feathers – forcing Martill to make a “learned guess” that this Ubirajara person was male.

“The ribbons that seem to come from the shoulders are like anything I’ve seen in nature before,” Martill said.

Although it is impossible to extract from the fossil – which reached a museum in the state of Ceará in the early 1990s, ScienceNews reported – Martill said Ubirajara may have been colored.

“I bet it was,” he said.

The first of its kind

The skeleton fossil part of Ubirajara jubatus was collected from the Cretaceous Crato Creation in Northeastern Brazil.

Smyth et al., Doi: 10.1016 / j.cretres.2020.104686.

Ubirajara jubatus it is the first non-native dinosaur described from the Creation of Crato in Brazil, a shallow inland sea that was laid down about 110 million years ago, ”the paleontologists said.