Feathers were the exception rather than the rule for dinosaurs

27th December, 2013

After recent finds of ornithischian dinosaurs with filament type structures in their skin it was postulated that feathers might be found more widely in dinosaur species other than the theropods in which they are most commonly found.

A study announced by the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology suggested that though some ornithischians had quills or filaments in their skin, the overwhelming majority had scales which is also the same amongst sauropods.

The author stated “I’d go so far as to say that all dinosaurs had some sort of genetic trait that made it easy for their skin to sprout filaments, quills and even feathers…But with scales so common throughout the family tree, they still look like they are the ancestral condition.”

Nature.com: Feathers were the exception rather than the rule for dinosaurs.