Whoa! Scientists just found a dinosaur tail preserved in amber, and um, it is covered in feathers
Sometimes, we wish we could time-travel to the Jurassic era, but realizing that A) we would’ve been dinosaur food and B) the internet didn’t exist abruptly brings us back to our senses. That said, the first-known dinosaur tail preserved in amber is an artifact we will happily observe from a safe distance of 99 million years, which is the approximate age of this prehistoric appendage that has remained intact well after an asteroid killed off the dinosaurs.
Per Bored Panda, paleontologist Lida Xing unearthed the tail during a 2015 Myanmar trip, and get this: The dinosaur tail has feathers.
That’s one hell of a plot twist, isn’t it?
As it turns out, scientists believe the 1.4-inch appendage and its white and chestnut brown feathers once belonged to a juvenile coelurosaur, which were bipedal creatures that eventually evolved into birds.
"While individual dinosaur-era feathers have been found in amber, and evidence for feathered dinosaurs is captured in fossil impressions, this is the first time that scientists are able to clearly associate well-preserved feathers with a dinosaur, and in turn gain a better understanding of the evolution and structure of dinosaur feathers," National Geographic's Kristin Romey wrote.
A look at the amber-encased tail not only reveals the feathers, but some easily recognizable bug carcasses that are kind of creepy, yet equally fascinating. And we can’t help but think this close-up view of the feathers looks like one of those artistically blurred, running-through-the-fields movie flashback scenes.
What a breathtakingly gorgeous glimpse back in time. We’re gonna go ahead and cry now, science.