P is for Pelecanimimus
At the end of 2012, I took a moment to look back at some of the fantastically fluffy feathered dinosaurs that paleontologists had uncovered during the year. In so doing, I mentioned that researchers have been quite busy ever since Sinosauropteryx – a little theropod clothed in dinofuzz – popped onto the scientific scene in 1996. What I neglected to mention that the little compsognathid may not have been the first feathery non-avian dinosaur ever found. There were other, unconfirmed candidates before 1996, including the strange Pelecanimimus.
Even though Sinosauropteryx was the beginning of a resounding confirmation that many dinosaurs were fuzzy, if not feathery, paleontologists had been toying with the idea for decades. In fact,