Jun 10, 2020
In this episode we take a look at dinosaur skin and talk about the changing appearances of dinosaurs over the last 150 years. Scientists have been constantly updating their ideas about the look of various species and new evidence unfolds and our understanding improves, from their earliest depictions as lumbering lizards, though to the discovery of feathers in dinosaurs at the close of the 20th Century. We now know that many dinosaurs, and not just those closes to birds, had feathers and some very distantly related groups also had filamentous structures which could even be true feathers. However, gaps in the fossil record means that for many lineages it is uncertain quite what species had in terms of scales, feathers or both. On the upside, the discovery of many exceptionally preserved fossils has now allowed palaeontologists to being to investigate some incredible details of dinosaur appearances, including their patterns and even colours. We are joined by historian (and dinosaur aficionado) Tom Holland, who wants to know more about the dinosaur-bird link and whether or not the study of living birds can tell us something about dinosaurs.
Dave’s Guardian article on which dinosaurs had feathers https://www.theguardian.com/science/lost-worlds/2013/jun/10/dinosaurs-fossils
A paper Dave co-authored on feathers and ‘dandruff’ in dinosaurs https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04443-x.