Sunday, May 20, 2018

Warm and fuzzy T. rex? New evidence surprises

LOS ANGELES — The discovery of a giant meat-eating dinosaur sporting a downy coat has some scientists reimagining the look of Tyrannosaurus rex.

With a killer jaw and sharp claws, T. rex has long been depicted in movies and popular culture as having scaly skin. But the discovery of an earlier relative suggests the king of dinosaurs may have had a softer side.

The evidence comes from the unearthing of a new tyrannosaur species in northeastern China that lived 60 million years before T. rex. The fossil record preserved remains of fluffy down, making it the largest feathered dinosaur ever found.

If a T. rex relative had feathers, why not T. rex? Scientists said the evidence is trending in that direction.

"People need to start changing their image of T. rex," said Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who was not part of the discovery team.

Much smaller dinosaurs with primitive feathers have been excavated in recent years, but this is the first direct sign of a huge, shaggy dinosaur. Scientists have long debated whether gigantic dinosaurs lost their feathers the bigger they got or were just not as extensively covered.

The new tyrannosaur species, Yutyrannus huali, is described in today's issue of the journal Nature. Its name is a blend of Latin and Mandarin, which translates to "beautiful feathered tyrant."

The creature lived about 125 million years ago. At 30 feet long and weighing a ton, Y. huali would have reached T. rex's chest.

Comments
Family, friends recall shooting victims' optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims' optimism, humor

Among the 10 people killed in the mass shooting at a Texas high school were a Pakistani exchange student, a substitute teacher with a "lust for life" and a boy whose sense of humor made him impossible to not like
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 8:45 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 8:45 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago

Attorney-client privilege review in Cohen raid is on track

Criminal investigators are finally getting to study materials seized in raids on the home and office of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer
Updated: 1 hour ago

Svitolina defends Italian Open title as Halep injured again

Elina Svitolina faced little resistance from Simona Halep in a 6-0, 6-4 win Sunday to defend her Italian Open title
Updated: 1 hour ago
Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

A veteran Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest for a record 22nd time this past week has returned from the mountain and says he's already planning his next trip
Updated: 1 hour ago
Maduro favored as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

Maduro favored as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

Venezuelans vote Sunday in a presidential election with Nicolas Maduro expected to win a second six-year term, despite a deepening crisis that's made food scarce and inflation soar as oil production in the once wealthy nation plummets
Updated: 1 hour ago
Maduro favored as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

Maduro favored as Venezuelans vote amid crisis

Venezuelans vote Sunday in a presidential election with Nicolas Maduro expected to win a second six-year term, despite a deepening crisis that's made food scarce and inflation soar as oil production in the once wealthy nation plummets
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Pope Francis prays for Venezuelans

The Latest: Pope Francis prays for Venezuelans

Pope Francis is praying that "beloved" Venezuela's people and rulers will wisely choose peace and unity as the nation elects a new president
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Latest: Pope Francis prays for Venezuelans

The Latest: Pope Francis prays for Venezuelans

Pope Francis is praying that "beloved" Venezuela's people and rulers will wisely choose peace and unity as the nation elects a new president
Updated: 2 hours ago
Erdogan in Sarajevo to rally European Turks for re-election

Erdogan in Sarajevo to rally European Turks for re-election

Turkey's president has arrived in the Bosnian capital to address supporters living in Europe, ahead of snap elections.
Updated: 2 hours ago