Scientists Discover a Dinosaur with Shiny, Color-Changing Feathers
Scientists recently announced the discovery of a small, bird-like dinosaur from China which had unusual, colorful feathers.
The scientists named the dinosaur Caihong, the Mandarin word for rainbow. They discovered the nearly complete and almost entirely undamaged fossil in Hebei Province.
Microscopic structures in the fossil suggest that the creature had wide, shiny feathers. The feathers mostly covered the dinosaur's head and upper body. The colors of those feather would have appeared to change depending on how the light hit them.
The colorful dinosaur lived 161 million years ago during the Jurassic Period of earth's history.
Chad Eliason is an evolutionary biologist with the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. He helped write the study announcing the discovery in the scientific publication Nature Communications. Eliason told the Reuters news service that the discovery "suggests a more colorful Jurassic World than we previously imagined."
The scientists used powerful microscopes to identify the remains of the cell structures responsible for the apparent color of the feathers. The shape of those structures appears to have influenced what color the feathers would have. Round-shaped structures in the Caihong fossil show that it had feathers similar to that of a modern day hummingbird.
Much of Caihong's body had dark feathers. The shiny, color-changing feathers covered its head and neck. The dinosaur had many bird-like qualities. But researchers doubt that it could actually fly.
Its feathers could have served the purpose of gaining the attention of sexual partners while also providing protection from heat and cold.
Caihong was two-legged and had a long, narrow head with sharp teeth. It had boney crests above its eyes, and it hunted other, smaller animals for food.
Scientists say many dinosaurs had feathers. Birds evolved from small feathered dinosaurs near the end of the Jurassic Period.
A dinosaur of a different feather
Caihong had two kinds of feathers. It also is the earliest-known creature with feathers that did not have the same shape on both sides. This is a physical quality that modern birds have and use to direct themselves while flying.
The unevenly shaped feathers on Caihong were on its tail. This suggests that tail feathers, not arm feathers, were first used to improve movement through the air in flying dinosaurs, scientists said.
Xing Xu is a paleontologist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Xing Xu said, "It is extremely similar to some early birds such as Archaeopteryx." Archaeopteryx is the earliest known bird. It is believed to have lived 150 million years ago.
"To be honest, I am not sure what function the feathers have," Xing Xu added. "And I don't think that you can completely exclude the possibility that the feathers helped the animal to get in the air."
The dinosaur's full scientific name is Caihong juji, which means "rainbow with a big crest."
I'm -Pete Musto.
1.depending on 取决于
I tend to have a different answer, depending on the family.
2.It is believed to 据信
It is not known exactly how they died, although it is believed to be natural causes.
3.get in 进入；到达
I tried to get in touch with you yesterday evening, but I think you were out.
4.similar to 相似
My opinions are similar to his.
5."To be honest, I am not sure what function the feathers have," Xing Xu added.
To be honest 老实说
To be honest, he is too aggressive.
To be honest, I just don't want to go.
6.Scientists say many dinosaurs had feathers. Birds evolved from small feathered dinosaurs near the end of the Jurassic Period.
the end of ...的末尾
We had almost reached the end of the street.
He parted with us at the end of the trip.
科学家们将恐龙命名为“彩虹” 。他们在中国河北省发现了接近完整、几乎完好无损的化石 。
化石的微观结构表明，这种生物拥有宽大、靓丽的羽毛 。羽毛主要覆盖在恐龙头部及上身，羽毛颜色会随着阳光照射发生变化 。
查德·伊莱亚森（Chad Eliason）是伊利诺伊州芝加哥菲尔德博物馆的进化生物学家 。他帮助撰写了这篇发表于《自然通讯》科学杂志的研究论文 。伊莱亚森对路透社表示，该发现“表明侏罗纪时代的色彩比我们想象的更加丰富 。”
科学家们利用高倍显微镜观察造成羽毛表面颜色的细胞结构残余物 。这些结构的形状似乎影响了羽毛的颜色 。“彩虹恐龙”化石中的圆形结构表明，其羽毛与蜂鸟类似 。
“彩虹恐龙”身体大部分的羽毛为黑色 。这种光泽靓丽、颜色多变的羽毛主要覆盖在头部和颈部 。虽然这种恐龙具有多种鸟类特质，但是研究人员怀疑它是否会飞 。
“彩虹恐龙”拥有两只脚，头部细长、牙齿锋利 。它的眼睛上方有多骨的鸟冠，靠捕捉其它小动物为生 。
科学家们表示，很多恐龙都有羽毛 。其中，鸟类由侏罗纪时期末期带有羽毛的小型恐龙演化而来 。
“彩虹恐龙”有两种羽毛 。它同样是已知最早的，两侧羽毛具有不对称结构的生物 。这是现代鸟类具备的飞行时掌控方向的物理特性 。
“彩虹恐龙”的不对称羽毛位于尾部 。这表明，最初恐龙利用尾部羽毛来改善飞行，而不是翼部羽毛 。
徐星是中国科学院的古生物学家 。他说：“这种恐龙与始祖鸟等早期鸟类极为相似 。”始祖鸟是已知最早的鸟类，据说生活在1.5亿年前 。