Reconstruction of Microraptor Jason Brougham, American Museum of Natural HistoryMicroraptors like these used to roam the Earth Dinosaur fans have barely recovered from the revelation that some dinosaurs were not scaly, but feathered. Now it looks like those fans will have to update their mental imagery once more: several of the same researchers who brought us vivid images of colorfully feathered velociraptors two years ago have come out with a paper today in Science offering conclusive evidence of the first known iridescent dinosaur. That distinction belongs to the microraptor, one of a class of birdlike carnivores called dromaeosaurs (colloquially, "raptors") that lived roughly 120 million years ago. It stands out from other raptors thanks to its unusual four-winged form and to the fact that, weighing in at less than 1 kilogram, it was small enough to fly, at least in a sense: scientists believe that the air resistance provided by its...
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