Did dinosaurs have dandruff? Study shows evidence in Cretaceous fossil

Scientific evidence found by paleontologists on prehistoric animal fossils in northeastern China may be providing new clues as to how bird family dinosaurs traded their feathers, among other important information.

We are talking about dandruff, dated 125 million years old and found in beings that had feathers, not hair or hair.

This ancient type of scaling was discovered by paleontologists in a microraptor, a Cretaceous bipedal dinosaur, and the finding led scientists to analyze material from other giant reptiles. This is how they found similar evidence of the presence of Corneocytes, epidermis fat cells, in a beipiosaurus and a Sinornithosaurus, but also in a giant bird of the period, the Confuciusornis .

Maria McNamara, one of the researchers at University College Cork, Ireland, who participated in the study, pointed out that the residues are extremely well preserved due to the presence of keratin, which corroborates the hypothesis of similarity to the skin composition of birds.

Other interesting findings from the research include the fact that the development of feathered skin was an evolutionary adaptation that, while not always flying, could serve other purposes, such as keeping the body warm in the air, attracting sex's attention. opposite and even camouflage.

The finding is interesting because it shows that dandruff cells lacked large portions of fat, so the animals might not be as protected from the cold as today's birds, which have a fatter epidermis and a high keratin dose. Perhaps that is why the surface layer did not come out entirely like a lizard or a snake, for example.