To my amazement for these articles being 2-4 years old, it has been proven that the mammoth creatures who use to rome the Earth known as the dinosaurs had feathers and weren't all reptilian like as many once believed. I just found this out today from my Ancient Civilization teacher who happens to be an Anthropologist. There are more web links in regards to those discovery below this article...
From The Sunday Times
September 4, 2005
Dinosaurs may have been a fluffy lot
Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
THE popular image of Tyrannosaurus rex and other killer dinosaurs may have to be changed as a scientific consensus emerges that many were covered with feathers.
Most predatory dinosaurs such as tyrannosaurs and velociraptors have usually been depicted in museums, films and books as covered in a thick hide of dull brown or green skin. The impression was of a killer stripped of adornment in the name of hunting efficiency.
This week, however, a leading expert on dinosaur evolution will tell the British Association, the principal conference of British scientists, that this image is wrong.
Gareth Dyke, a palaeontologist of University College Dublin, will tell the BA Festival of Science being held in the city that most such creatures were coated with delicate feathery plumage that could even have been multi-coloured. Fossil evidence that such dinosaurs were feathered is now "irrefutable".
"The way these creatures are depicted can no longer be considered scientifically accurate," he said. "All the evidence is that they looked more like birds than reptiles. Tyrannosaurs might have resembled giant chicks."
The latest visualisation suggests that parts of Walking with Dinosaurs, the acclaimed BBC series, cannot be seen as scientifically valid. Similar criticisms might also be levelled at the Hollywood blockbuster Jurassic Park.
The Natural History Museum in London, which has a popular exhibition of robot dinosaurs, conceded this weekend that some of its permanent displays may have to be adapted to reflect the new findings.
The feather revelation follows a series of discoveries in fossil beds at Liaoning in northeast China where a volcanic eruption buried many dinosaurs alive. It also cut off the oxygen that would otherwise have rotted them away.
Some theropod ("beast-footed") dinosaurs were preserved complete with feathery plumage. Theropod is the name given to predatory creatures that walked upright on two legs, balanced by a long tail.
The feathered finds include an early tyrannosaur, a likely ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, two small flying dinosaurs and five other predators. Feathers are thought to have evolved first to keep dinosaurs warm and only later as an aid to flight.
Such finds are significant in linking dinosaurs to modern birds. Most palaeontologists accept that birds are descended from dinosaurs but there is fierce debate over how this happened. At the Dublin conference, Dyke will present new evidence suggesting that dinosaurs evolved the ability to fly and that some even developed all four limbs into wings.