Research press release


Nature Communications

Palaeontology: Diversified feathered dinosaurs


今回、P Godefroitたちが記述している獣脚類恐竜の新属新種Eosinopteryx brevipenna は、その姉妹分類群Anchiornisに似ているが、Eosinopteryxの羽毛は、Anchiornisほど豊かに四肢と尾に生えていない。こうした適応は、EosinopteryxがAnchiornisよりも容易に走れたことを示唆している。


A new feathered dinosaur that is characterised by less extensive feathers on its limbs and tail than its sister taxa has been discovered in the western Liaoning Province in China and is reported in Nature Communications. The finding suggests that the plumage of feathered theropod dinosaurs, which were diverse in the Late Cretaceous, was already diversified and had adapted to different ecological niches by the Late Jurassic.

The new theropod - Eosinopteryx brevipenna gen. et sp. nov - described by Pascal Godefroit and colleagues resembles its sister taxa, Anchiornis. However, the feathers of Eosinopteryx are less extensive on the limbs and tail than on Anchiornis. These adaptations suggest that Eosinopteryx was able to run more easily than Anchiornis.

The finding implies a more complex picture for the origin of flight in the Jurassic, where similar body-plans may have occupied different niches in the same ecosystem.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms2389

「Nature 関連誌注目のハイライト」は、ネイチャー広報部門が報道関係者向けに作成したリリースを翻訳したものです。より正確かつ詳細な情報が必要な場合には、必ず原著論文をご覧ください。

メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週最新のNature 関連誌のハイライトを皆様にお届けいたします。