History Revised

Now in a discovery reported by an international team in the journal Science, the new dinosaur species, Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus (KOO-lin-dah-DRO-mee-us ZAH-bike-kal-ik-kuss), suggests that feathers were all in the family. That’s because the newly unearthed 4.5-foot-long (1.5 meter) two-legged runner was an “ornithischian” beaked dinosaur, belonging to a group ancestrally distinct from past theropod discoveries.

So, says the study’s lead author, “[f]eathers are not a characteristic [just] of birds but of all dinosaurs.” The de-lizarding of dinosaurs has been a gradual humiliation, not just for the creatures themselves but for generations of children who lent them their most imaginative years. Now there are only feathers and teeth.