A Perfectly Preserved 99-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tail Has Been Discovered In Myanmar
This is the first preserved dinosaur that's ever been found!
A perfectly preserved, 99-million-year-old dinosaur tail has been found in a block of amber in Myanmar.
The tail, which still includes bones, soft tissue and even feathers, was originally though to be that of an ancient prehistoric bird, however on closer inspection scientists discovered that it is actually from a brown and white dinosaur specimen.
The amazing discovery has revealed information about the flesh (and feathers!) on the creatures that roamed the earth more than 160 million years ago.
Amazingly, the tail was found in a piece of polished amber that was about to be sold for jewellery by the owner, with scientists managing to establish where it had come from by tracking down the amber miner who had dug it up!
"This is the first time we've found dinosaur material preserved in amber" co-author of the discovery's scientific journal, Ryan McKellar, told the BBC News.
"We can be sure of the source because the vertebrae are not fused into a rod or pygostyle as in modern birds and their closest relatives," he explained. "Instead, the tail is long and flexible, with keels of feathers running down each side."
Scans and microscopic analysis of the tail have revealed eight vertebrae from the middle or end of a long, thin tail and the scientists believe it may have been originally made up of over 25 vertebrae.
"It's amazing to see all the details of a dinosaur tail - the bones, flesh, skin, and feathers" said co-author ...
"Imagine how this fellow got his tail caught in the resin, and then presumably died because he could not wrestle free."
From initial research, it is believed that the tail is from a coelurosaur, a specimen from the theropod group of dinosaurs, that also contains the tyrannosaur.
The first research of the finding has led the scientists to believe that the dinosaur was flightless and the feathers were probably for temperature regulation only.
This discovery has led the scientists to speculate the likelihood of finding a full, preserved dinosaur in the near future.