TitleNonavian feathers in a Late Triassic archosaur
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsJones, TD, Ruben, J, Martin, LD, Kurochkin, EN, Feduccia, A, Maderson, PFA, Hillenius, WJ, Geist, NR, Alifanov, V
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Longisquama insignis was an unusual archosaur from the Late Triassic of central Asia. Along its dorsal axis Longisquama bore a series of paired integumentary appendages that resembled avian feathers in many details, especially in the anatomy of the basal region. The Latter is sufficiently similar to the calamus of modern feathers that each probably represents the culmination of virtually identical morphogenetic processes. The exact relationship of Longisquama to birds is uncertain. Nevertheless, we interpret Longisquama's elongate integumentary appendages as nonavian feathers and suggest that they are probably homologous with avian feathers. If so, they antedate the feathers of Archaeopteryx, the first known bird from the Late Jurassic.

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