The creature was about a metre long with a short snout, long hind legs, short arms and five strong fingers. Until now, fossilised evidence of feathery dinosaurs has come from China, and from a meat-eating group called theropods.
The latest discovery – in Russia – is from a completely separate group of plant-eating dinosaurs called ornithischians.
The new find takes the origin of feathers millions of years further back in time than had previously been thought. And, according to the researchers, completely changed ideas about how dinosaurs evolved.
Instead of thinking of them as dry, scary scaly creatures, a lot of species, especially when very young, actually had a fluffy, downy covering like feathers on a chick, they say. And did so when dinosaurs first emerged.
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nose and mouth of an animal
the back part of an animal's body
information which shows something is true
changed gradually over time
covered in hard, flat pieces of skin
covered with soft feathers or hair