A dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago had drumstick-shaped legs much like living birds, according to paleontologists.
“In this study, what we’ve done is we’ve used high-powered lasers to reveal unseen soft tissues preserved alongside the bones of a feathered dinosaur called Anchiornis,” said [Michael Pittman of the University of Hong Kong]. The research could give insights into the origins of flight, which is thought to have evolved more than 150 million years ago.
The research team used laser-stimulated fluorescence imaging, a technique that reveals soft tissue details that are unseen under visible light.
Dr Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh, who was not connected with the research, said the study produced striking evidence of just how bird-like these dinosaurs were.
“This study uses high-powered lasers to generate the single best look at the wings and body outline of a dinosaur ever…The laser images show that this non-bird dinosaur had wings that were remarkably similar to those of living birds, down to the soft tissues,” he said.
[The study can be found here.]
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