Flesh-eating dinosaurs apparently aren’t the only ones that sported feathers because a recently found fossil showed that a plant-eating dinosaur has scales and feathers, too, indicating that all dinosaurs may have sported feathers after all.

Recent discovery of the very first example of a dinosaur that feeds on plants called Kulindradromeus zabaikalicus was found in a certain Kulinda site at the Olov River banks in Siberia.

"We knew that some of the plant-eating ornithischian dinosaurs had simple bristles, and we couldn’t be sure whether these were the same kinds of structures as bird and theropod feathers. Our new find clinches it: all dinosaurs had feathers, or at least the potential to sprout feathers," Dr. Pascal Godefroit, lead author of the study, says in a statement.

Godefroit is a paleontologist from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels.

Kulindadromeus was estimated to be around 1m long, with short arms and long back legs. It has five fingers considered as strong, a snout that was short and a set of teeth that indicated its adaptation to eating plants.

The Kulindadromeus was seen to have scales on its shins and tails similar to a reptile, as well as short bristles on the back and head. Researchers say the most surprising discovery is the presence of compound or complex feathers in its legs and arms.

"These feathers are really very well preserved. We can see each filament and how they are joined together at the base, making a compound structure of six or seven filaments, each up to 15mm long," Dr. Maria McNamara says in a statement.

McNamara, who is from the University College Cork in Ireland, studied the feathers of said dinosaur, together with University of Bristol professor Michael Benton.

"The feathers look like down feathers from some modern chickens,” feather expert Danielle Dhouailly also says in a statement.

Dhouailly adds that when compared with leg scales, the Kulindadromeus’ scales look like aborted feathers, which somehow implied why the modern birds likewise have crusty bare legs.

The latest finding suggests that feathers were possibly prevalent in dinosaurs, perhaps even in its earliest members. Researchers also suggest that the smaller dinosaurs could have been covered with feathers, too, most likely with colorful forms, but eventually lost it as they grew up.

The researchers also estimate that the feathers in those dinosaurs possibly appeared in the Triassic period, over 220 million years ago, and may have been used for signaling or insulation before being used for flight.

The research paper, A Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia with both feathers and scales, was published in Science journal.

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