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Real Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved In Amber
99-million-year-old feathered dinosaur tail is perfectly conserved (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 424)
Dec 13, 2016 History
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The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found, beautifully preserved in a lump of amber. A report published yesterday in the journal Current Biology, says that the tail clearly shows bones, soft tissue and even fine feathers. This is the first time that scientists have been clearly able to match feathers with a dinosaur, although it has long be clear that many dinosaurs were, in fact, feathered.

The lead researcher who discovered the piece of dinosaur tail is paleontologist Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences. He was lucky enough to find the sample in 2015 at a well-known amber market in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state, which is in Myanmar. More than a dozen samples containing ancient specimens were obtained at the same time.

For many years the area where the amber was dug up has seen constant fighting. However Xing believes that once peace returns to the Hukawng Valley and scientists can safely get in to explore the region's amber mines, then many more incredible finds will be made.

The small golf-ball-sized lump of golden amber, ancient tree sap in other words, holds a 3.5cm piece of tail from a baby dinosaur that become trapped in the gum nearly 100 million years ago. It is covered in delicate feathers which are described as "chestnut brown with a pale or white underside." The original tail was probably around three times longer than the piece which was preserved, but the dinosaur itself was maybe only the size of a small bird.

The open, flexible makeup of the feathers found in the amber look more like ornamental feathers found on modern birds. They do not look like feathers used for flying. Flight feathers have a strong central shaft, branches, sub-branches, and hooks that hold the whole thing together for smooth air flow. So if they were not for flying, then what were the feathers for? Scientists are not exactly sure, but their ideas include controlling the temperature of the dinosaur, camouflage, or perhaps they were just for showing off.

The find has got many paleontologists very excited. "When it hit my desk, I was blown away," Ryan McKellar, an amber expert and one of the authors of the study, said. "It's one of those things where you're like, 'Wow, it's the closest you'll ever get to holding a fleshed-out dinosaur in your hands." Meanwhile, Lida Xing continues to hunt for fossils in the amber markets of Myanmar. "Maybe we can find a complete dinosaur", he says hopefully.

According to the article,what were the dinosaur's feathers NOT used for?
showing off
temperature control
camouflage
flight
The market where the amber was found is described as "well known". Which word could replace this phrase?
popular
common
obvious
obscure
What is stopping scientists from exploring the amber mines of Myanmar?
difficult access
remote locations
constant conflict
travel expenses
What trapped the baby dinosaur in the first place?
It fell out of its nest
A larger dinosaur ate it
It was too young to fly
It was trapped by sticky gum
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aid

help


n,v.援助

am-ber

hard fossilized yellowish resin from extinct trees


n.琥珀/琥珀色

an-cient

very old


adj.古老

au-thor

a writer of a book or report


n.作者

bi-o-lo-gy

the study of living things


n.生物学

ca-mou-flage

hiding or disguising something by blending in


n.伪装/欺骗

ca-pi-tal

a city where the government of a country or region sits


n.首都

com-plete

to finish, end 


v.完成

con-ti-nue

go on and on


v.继续

con-tin-ues

keeps on going


v.继续

con-trol

operate a machine or equipment / the power to change or direct something


v,n.控制

cur-rent

right now / a flow of water in the ocean


adj,n.当前/潮流

di-no-saur

a large reptile that lived millions of years ago


n.恐龙

dis-co-vered

found, uncovered


v.发现    

e-di-ble

OK to eat


adj.食用

fos-sil

what is left behind of a very old life form


n.化石

in-cre-di-ble

difficult to believe, amazing


adj.难以置信/荒诞

lump

an irregular-shaped piece of material


n.块

mar-ket

to sell / an area of business, the place where things are sold


v.n,销路/市场

match

to be the same as something else


v.匹配

men-tal

to do with the mind


adj.心理

o-ri-gi-nal

the first


adj.原始/原版的

or-na-men-tal

serving as decoration


adj.装饰

pa-le-on-to-lo-gist

a scientist who studies fossils of extinct animals


n.古生物学家

pre-served

kept going, looked after


v.保存

pub-lished

to put out a book for sale


v.发表

re-gion

an area


n.地区

re-search

looking for knowledge


v.调研

re-search-er

person who searches for knowledge


n.研究员

sap

the fluid that flows in a plant or tree  


n.树液

sci-en-tists

experts in science, people who study science


n.科学家

spec-i-men

example of its species or type for scientific study or display


n.标本

spe-ci-mens

typical examples of something, living or not


n.标本

tem-per-a-ture

how hot something is


n.温度

trapped

shut in, captured


v.被困