Tyrannosaurus rex’s closest living relatives are birds. In fact, birds are the only remaining members of the dinosaur family. There are a lot of differences between a T. rex and your pet parrot, though. Today’s birds descended from small T. rex cousins which had wings and feathers. In fact, one species, called Microraptor gui, had four wings! In some cases, scientists can even tell what colors these dinosaurs’ feathers were– one, called Caihong juji, had colorful rainbow feathers on its neck.
T. rex, with its tiny arms, certainly didn’t have wings. But did it have feathers? It’s hard to say. The only preserved T. rex skin that’s been discovered is scaly, like a reptile’s, with no feathers. Some scientists think that baby T. rex had some feathery fuzz, but that they lost it by the time they were adults.
Photo by Hone et al.