A new study shows that fluffy dinosaurs actually existed and roamed the South Pole. Yes, you read that right — Fluffy dinosaurs.
For the first time, scientists have found evidence that dinosaurs may have used feathers as a way to cope with the freezing weather in the southern polar circle, according to a recent study published in the Gondwana Research.
A team of international scientists analyzed a collection of 118-year-old fossil feathers found in Australia, according to a news release from Sweden's Uppsala University, which contributed to the study.
The fossils show that the dinosaurs had a diversity of tufted hair-like "proto-feathers," which would have been used for insulation. The fossils also showed body and wing feathers that would have been used to fly.
Researchers also found that the dinosaurs' feathers were unique, much like bird feathers, and discovered "distinct bands" of color pigmentation on the fossils. The feathers were possibly dark in color to help the dinosaurs with camouflage, visual communication or to absorb more heat in the frigid polar temperatures, the news release said.
Dinosaur skeletons and ancient bird bones have been found at high latitudes before, but this is the first fossilized evidence of feathered dinosaurs, CNN reported.
"These Australian fossil feathers are therefore highly significant because they came from dinosaurs and small birds that were living in a seasonally very cold environment with months of polar darkness every year," said Dr. Benjamin Kear, a leading author on the study.