Scientists Discover World's First Dinosaur Tail Covered in Feathers Preserved in Amber

Thought to be 99 million years old.
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Thought to be 99 million years old.

Paleontologist Lida Xing has made history after discovering what's thought to be the first known dinosaur tail preserved in a piece of amber. Thought to be from the mid-Cretaceous Period the 1.4-inch segment of tail is around 99 millions years old and consists of 8 vertebrae that are very clearly covered in primitive feathers. Based on its structure scientists have been able to rule out the possibility of the tail belonging to a bird and instead believe that it belongs to a juvenile coelurosaur.

Whilst the evidence to support the idea that feathered dinosaurs has been previously found in fossil impressions and dinosaur-era feathers have been found in amber, this discovery is the first that scientists have been able to associate with a dinosaur.

Through this discovery it's hoped that scientists can further their understanding on the evolution and structure of dinosaur feathers. You can read more about the find on National Geographic.