Scientists discover a pile of 125-million-year-old dinosaur dandruff in China

Their dry white flecks were found among feathers preserved by volcanic ash in China’s ­Liaoning province.


The dinosaur’s flakes are almost identical to human dandruff, measuring between one and two millimetres and made up of the protein keratin.

A Bristol University team says the unsightly deposits in their ginger, red and black plumage would have ruined their dating prospects. Professor Mike Benton said: “It shows that they shed their old skin in clumps rather than in one go, like modern snakes and lizards.

“Having clumps of white dandruff in their feathers may have been a turn-off for other dinosaurs.”

The dandruff it said to have come from the Microraptor, Beipiaosaurus and Sinornithosaurus dinosaurs and Confuciusornis bird.

It shows that they shed their old skin in clumps rather than in one go, like modern snakes and lizards.


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