Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images.
Recently unearthed fossils suggest that T. rex may have been cuddlier than we thought.
The Associated Press reports that a team of Canadian and Chinese paleontologists uncovered an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex with a preserved fluffy coat in northeastern China, making it the largest feathered dinosaur ever found.
The Yutyrannus huali is believed to have been 30 feet long and weighed in at 1.5 tons, according to the New York Times. It roamed the earth 60 million years before its T. rex relative, a prehistoric predator that has long been depicted with scales.
Prior to the new discovery, scientists believed that dinosaurs shed their feathers and fuzz shortly after they were born, growing into something like the Jurassic Park star that most of us picture when we think about T. rex. But the 125-million-year-old fossils make it possible that down coats were prevalent in the species during this area, possibly a clue to the climate at that time.
"The feathered dinosaurs show how the whole conception of dinosaurs has really changed in the last 15 years," said Dr. Mark A. Norell, a curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History.
Read more over at the New York Times.