Dinosaur feathers

In the 1960s, the first feathered dinosaur was discovered, and people realised that birds may have evolved from them. In the ‘90s, thousands of feathered dinosaurs were found in China and the theory was proven. But why did dinosaurs develop feathers in the first place? At first, it’s likely the fluff covering them was for warmth, but then some small meat-eaters developed bigger, quill-like feathers (like those on birds). They were found on the dinosaurs’ arms and legs, creating wings. Scientists believe that it was for display – to attract a mate or scare enemies. But it could also have led to flight…

Some scientists assumed that wings developed to allow flight, but new research shows that the first dinosaurs with wings didn’t fly at all. They appeared in dinosaurs who were too big to fly. The latest theory is that they developed for display, and that flight may have evolved by accident later on in smaller dinosaurs who began jumping between branches or jumping into the air.


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