Giant Theropods: Was T. Rex feathered?

The giant dinosaurs, with their big bones, are better represented in the fossil record. But just as there are more mice than whales, we are finding now that most Dinosaurs were probably small. It is natural to think that protofeathers and feathers were restricted to the smallest Saurischian species.

This belief was shattered when a seven meter long ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex was discovered clad with feathers. In fact most of the ancestors of T. rex have been found to have feathers! Tyrannosaurs are coelurosaurs, close relatives of the maniraptora, a clade of Theropod dinosaurs to which “Aves” also belongs. With few exceptions they were mostly carnivorous or omnivorous with sharp teeth, claws… and feathers!

Some scientists question that a dinosaur as big as T. rex could have been fully feathered, but it seems reasonable to think that if its ancestors were, T. rex probably would have been too.

We have found patches of skin of T.rex that were not feathered. Dinosaurs might also have been partially feathered, as ostriches are. A recent discovery has shown that a bird-mimic theropod was just that: naked legs and body covered in feathers.