It might look like someone has taken all the hair and gunk from your shower drain and puzzlingly decided to preserve it in resin, but scientists are pretty bloody stoked about finding a dinosaur tail in a lump of amber.
Scientists say the tail, believed to belong to a widdle tiny baby coelurosaur about the size of a sparrow, is the first time they’ve ever found preserved dinosaur bones, flesh and feathers still in tact, and gives them key information about the composition of dinosaurs’ feathers.
Photo: Lida Xing.
They’ve dated the tail back to around 99 million years ago, or just before the US election started – am I right folks???
Much like some feather samples found in June, the amber was discovered at a market in Myanmar, where it had already been cut and polished, ready to go in some jewellery.
The seller originally believed it to be plant material, but the keen eye of palaeontologist Dr Lida Xing from the China University Of Geosciences ascertained that it was, in fact, an ancient 3.5cm long tail.
From the looks of it, the little creature was chestnut brown on top with a white underside, so think the colour scheme of Gizmo from ‘Gremlins‘. Adorable.
Scientists also reckon that there’s a possibility they might be able to extract DNA from the sample and use advanced 1990s cloning technology to create some sort of “dinosaur theme park”. Just kidding. Or am I? I am.
Source: National Geographic.