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Sinornithosaurus^4,Microraptor^5 and NGMC 91 are preserved with patches of integumentary covering,although the full distribution of body covering on these taxa is unknown。In NGMC 91 integumentary filaments are distributed across the entire skull,body,limbs and tail,except for the distal hindlimbs(Fig.5)。Unlike... 顯示更多 Sinornithosaurus^4,Microraptor^5 and NGMC 91 are preserved with patches of integumentary covering,although the full distribution of body covering on these taxa is unknown。In NGMC 91 integumentary filaments are distributed across the entire skull,body,limbs and tail,except for the distal hindlimbs(Fig.5)。Unlike Sinosauropteryx^6,the structure and distribution of filaments are heterogeneous。There are three basic types of filamentous structure: single fibres,long”sprays”of fibres that resemble the plumulaceous feathers of Protarchaeopteryx^2,and fibres oriented around a central axis in a herring-bone pattern that resembles the remiges of Caudipteryx。Across the entire skeleton the filamentous covering is heavy and matted because filaments are preserved between several layers of sediment。In most cases the integumentary structures lie at around 90度to the skeletal elements。

Recent models of feather evolution based on development^27 predict that feathers went through evolutionary stages of unbranched ules, followed by the development of a rachis and finally barbs。The shape of the filaments on NGMC 91 meet these predictions,as several of these patterns are present on the specimen。

On the skull,loosely organized,oriented unbranched fibres are exposed along the midline(Fig.4b)。This is not a plume or crest because several planes of matted filaments are separated by sediment。The entire head was apparently covered with a thick mat of filaments。These filaments extend a minimum of 2 cm from the skull。 On the back of the neck,the filaments are longer,extending 3.2 cm from the neck and curving posteriorly。
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