The rise of feathered dinosaurs : Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, the oldest dinosaur with "feather-like" structures

  • Diverse epidermal appendages including grouped filaments closely resembling primitive feathers in non-avian theropods, are associated with skeletal elements in the primitive ornithischian dinosaur Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus from the Kulinda locality in south-eastern Siberia. This discovery suggests that “feather-like” structures did not evolve exclusively in theropod dinosaurs, but were instead potentially widespread in the whole dinosaur clade. The dating of the Kulinda locality is therefore particularly important for reconstructing the evolution of “feather-like” structures in dinosaurs within a chronostratigraphic framework. Here we present the first dating of the Kulinda locality, combining U-Pb analyses (LA-ICP-MS) on detrital zircons and monazites from sedimentary rocks of volcaniclastic origin and palynological observations. Concordia ages constrain the maximum age of the volcaniclastic deposits at 172.8 ± 1.6 Ma, corresponding to the Aalenian (Middle Jurassic). The palynological assemblage includes taxa that are correlated to Bathonian palynozones from western Siberia, and therefore constrains the minimum age of the deposits. The new U-Pb ages, together with the palynological data, provide evidence of a Bathonian age—between 168.3 ± 1.3 Ma and 166.1 ± 1.2 Ma—for Kulindadromeus. This is older than the previous Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous ages tentatively based on local stratigraphic correlations. A Bathonian age is highly consistent with the phylogenetic position of Kulindadromeus at the base of the neornithischian clade and suggests that cerapodan dinosaurs originated in Asia during the Middle Jurassic, from a common ancestor that closely looked like Kulindadromeus. Our results consequently show that Kulindadromeus is the oldest known dinosaur with “feather-like” structures discovered so far.

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Author:Aude Cincotta, Ekaterina Pestchevitskaya, Sofia M. Sinitsa, Valentina S. Markevich, Vinciane Debaille, Svetlana A. Reshetova, Irina M. Mashchuk, Andrei O. Frolov, Axel Gerdes, Johan Yans, Pascal Godefroit
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-490794
DOI:https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6239
ISSN:2167-8359
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30723614
Parent Title (English):PeerJ
Publisher:PeerJ, Inc.
Place of publication:London [u. a.]
Contributor(s):Andrew Farke
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/02/01
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/02/14
Tag:Feathered dinosaurs; Jurassic of Siberia; Palynology; U-Pb dating
Volume:7
Issue:e6239
Page Number:20
First Page:1
Last Page:20
Note:
Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0
HeBIS-PPN:446274666
Institutes:Geowissenschaften / Geographie / Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 56 Fossilien, Paläontologie / 560 Paläontologie; Paläozoologie
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0