This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Last updated at 14:31 BST, Friday, 25 July 2014

'Fluffy' dinosaurs were widespread


25 July 2014

The majority of dinosaurs were covered with feathers or had the potential to grow feathers. A discovery of 150 million year-old fossils in Siberia indicates that feathers were more widespread among dinosaurs than previously thought. The details have been published in the Journal Science.


Pallab Ghosh

A dinosaur skeleton

What did dinosaurs really look like?


Click to hear the report


The creature was about a metre long with a short snout, long hind legs, short arms and five strong fingers. Until now, fossilised evidence of feathery dinosaurs has come from China, and from a meat-eating group called theropods.

The latest discovery – in Russia – is from a completely separate group of plant-eating dinosaurs called ornithischians.

The new find takes the origin of feathers millions of years further back in time than had previously been thought. And, according to the researchers, completely changed ideas about how dinosaurs evolved.

Instead of thinking of them as dry, scary scaly creatures, a lot of species, especially when very young, actually had a fluffy, downy covering like feathers on a chick, they say. And did so when dinosaurs first emerged.


Click here to hear the vocabulary



nose and mouth of an animal


the back part of an animal's body


information which shows something is true


changed gradually over time


covered in hard, flat pieces of skin


covered with soft feathers or hair



  1. Home
  2. Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation
  3. Words in the News
  4. 'Fluffy' dinosaurs were widespread