Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers?

A feathered dinosaur is any species of dinosaur possessing feathers.
When the first perfectly preserved specimens of feathered dinosaurs were found in China in the 1990s, it was proved beyond doubt that these ancient animals were the ancestors of modern-day birds.
Since then, more and more species of dinosaurs have been revealed to have been covered in feather-like structures. But how common these structures were, and how many different groups were feathered, is still being debated today.

The uses of feathers

Although they were feathered, this does not mean they were flying dinosaurs. We are not sure what the feathers were for.
Scientists can think of several uses for them, including keeping the dinosaurs warm or helping to streamline their running. Many believe that the feathers were brightly colored and used for mating displays.
Today we have evidence that many dinosaurs were feathered, find out all about the different feathered dinosaurs that we know about:


Archaeopteryx may have been the first feathered dino to go airborne on its own.


Specimens Compared to a Human in Scale>>

Archaeopteryx is a genus of feathered dinosaurs that were once thought to be the oldest known fossil bird. The specimens date to approximately 150 million years ago, during the Late Jurassic Epoch (163.5 million to 145 million years ago), and all were found in the Solnhofen Limestone Formation in Bavaria, Germany, starting in 1861. However, late 20th- and early 21st-century discoveries of other birdlike fossils of similar age, including Xiaotingia, zhengi from the Liaoning deposits in China, have prompted several paleontologists to call for the reclassification of Archaeopteryx as a dinosaur.



Archaeopteryx was not like modern birds. It had feathers like a bird, but teeth, claws, and a bony tail like a dinosaur.

Owen was world-famous for identifying animals. He classified Archaeopteryx as a bird, rejecting a suggestion that it might be a link to reptiles.

Archaeopteryx Fossil Wall

A cast of Archaeopteryx Specimen Made by Mydinosaurs>>


A close-up photograph of a fossil feather found in 1861 in Bavaria, and originally identified as coming from an archaeopteryx.

Many paleontologists think the feather came from archaeopteryx lithographica, a creature that, with its feathered wings and sharp-toothed mouth, bears features of both dinosaurs and birds, making it a herald of the evolutionary transition between the two groups.

Feathered Velociraptor

“The real Velociraptor had feathers all over its body, and even wings on its arms, made up of quill pen feathers lined up along the arm and hand,” explains Brusatte. “It would not have looked like a green, scaly overgrown crocodile or lizard, but more like a ferocious bird, one with a long tail and a murderous toothy grin.


V. mongoliensis compared in size to a human

“Velociraptor almost certainly couldn’t fly, so its feathers and wings were used for other purposes – to keep its body warm, and as display, structures to intimidate rivals or attract mates. We don’t know their colors yet – but based on close relatives, they probably were pretty colorful, and maybe with even iridescent feathers or camouflage patterns.”


Size of Velociraptor (2) compared with other dromaeosaurs

China Animatronic Dinosaur Velociraptor

Feathered Velociraptor Animatronic for Sale>>

Feathered Velociraptor 3

Dinosaur Exhibition Realistic Animatronic Velociraptor with Feather>>

Feathered Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex did have feathers!
Lived 131-120 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous, the 9-meter long dinosaur called Yutyrannus (meaning feathered tyrant) is the largest known dinosaur fossil discovered to show having feathers. Reportedly found in what is now Liaoning province, China.


Size Compared to a Human

Named using the Mandarin word yu meaning feather and the Latin word tyrannosmeaning tyrant, a reference to the fact it is a feathered member of the Tyrannosauroidea superfamily. The species name is the Mandarin word huáli meaning beautiful, in reference to the beauty of the plumage.


Yutyrannus_huali Artist’s restoration

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Life-size Animatronic T-Rex with Feather for Sale

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