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      Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds

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          Most cited references 26

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          An exceptionally preserved Lower Cretaceous ecosystem.

          Fieldwork in the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group, northeastern China has revealed a plethora of extraordinarily well-preserved fossils that are shaping some of the most contentious debates in palaeontology and evolutionary biology. These discoveries include feathered theropod dinosaurs and early birds, which provide additional, indisputable support for the dinosaurian ancestry of birds, and much new evidence on the evolution of feathers and flight. Specimens of putative basal angiosperms and primitive mammals are clarifying details of the early radiations of these major clades. Detailed soft-tissue preservation of the organisms from the Jehol Biota is providing palaeobiological insights that would not normally be accessible from the fossil record.
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            Four-winged dinosaurs from China.

            Although the dinosaurian hypothesis of bird origins is widely accepted, debate remains about how the ancestor of birds first learned to fly. Here we provide new evidence suggesting that basal dromaeosaurid dinosaurs were four-winged animals and probably could glide, representing an intermediate stage towards the active, flapping-flight stage. The new discovery conforms to the predictions of early hypotheses that proavians passed through a tetrapteryx stage.
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              Two feathered dinosaurs from northeastern China

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                February 2010
                January 27 2010
                February 2010
                : 463
                : 7284
                : 1075-1078
                10.1038/nature08740
                © 2010

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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