DINO DNA

First Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber

The feathered tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur was found preserved in amber, marking the first time scientists have been able to identify well-preserved feathers from that era with a dinosaur, according to a report published Thursday in Current Biology. According to NatGeo, “The semitranslucent mid-Cretaceous amber sample, roughly the size and shape of a dried apricot, captures one of the earliest moments of differentiation between the feathers of birds of flight and the feathers of dinosaurs.” The Chinese and Canadian researchers, led by paleontologist Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences, is believed to belong to “a juvenile coelurosaur, part of a group of theropod dinosaurs that includes everything from tyrannosaurs to modern birds.” The sample was found in a mine in the Hukawng Valley in northern Myanmar.