The first ever fossil of dandruff has been discovered among feathers of winged dinosaurs.
A new discovery suggests that dinosaurs had dandruff. Scientists have reason to believe that dandruff has existed for tens of millions of years after finding fossilized flakes on the feathers of a microraptor.
The microraptor to whom the feathers with the fossilized skin flakes belonged was 125 million years old, scientists say.
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While it was believed that dinosaurs behaved much like reptiles, this new discovery proves that they shed their skin in small patches, much like modern birds and mammals.
“This is the only ever reported fossil dandruff of any kind, so far as I am aware,” said Professor Mike Benton, one of the authors of a study published in Nature.
“So, the first from a dinosaur, the oldest and the first from any fossil,” he added.
The flakes were found while researchers were using an electron microscope to study Chinese samples of microraptor feathers.
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It was discovered that dead cells from the outermost layer of skin known as corneocytes were very present in between the feathers.
As it seems, scientists have more reason to believe that dinosaurs were closer related to modern birds than to reptiles.
However, the skin flakes found on the microraptors suggest that dinosaurs had lowers body heat than today’s birds. Therefore, it is believed that Cretaceous-era microraptors weren’t able to fly at first.