In dinosaur news, a new study published in the journal Biology Letters (which is unfortunately not filled with stories of steamy sexual encounters like I imagined when I purchased a subscription) claims that new research "shows without question that T. rex had scaly skin..." Some more info while I see if I can call and cancel my subscription before I'm billed:
"With all the hype about feathered theropods, it's easy to forget that actually most dinosaurs had scaly, reptilian-like skin," Bell said. (Theropod dinosaurs included tyrannosaurs and many other two-legged dinosaurs as well as bird ancestors.)
Bell and his colleagues examined skin from T. rex and four relatives from fairly late in tyrannosaur history: Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Gorgosaurus and Tarbosaurus. Tyrannosaur skin is rare, Bell said, in part because paleontologists historically favored smashing through skin to get to bones.
From these skin patches, representing the tyrannosaur abdomen, chest, pelvis, neck and tail, the researchers found nothing but scales. If feathers existed, they did so only along the animals' back or spines.
It's weird how these things go back and forth. First they have scales, then they have feathers, now we're back to scales again. Maybe next we'll speculate they had human skin or bear fur. Or maybe they-- "Were covered in penises." Exactly. You're weird but I like the way your mind works.
Thanks to Dunc and Allyson S, for keeping me up to date on things tens of millions of years old.