Although these structures [feathers] seem quite different from the horny scales that cover a reptile’s body, the difference is in reality not very great. — Alfred Romer said in “Man and the Vertebraes”
This statement was made by an evolutionists who believed that dinosaurs, after many years of evolution, evolved into birds. The most famous of these dinosaur descendants would be the group of birds known as Raptors. These birds include, owls, eagles, hawks, falcons and vultures.
Theses birds, according to many evolutionists, have similar characteristics to small dinosaurs such as Velociraptor or Eoraptor. However, these similarities do not really exist, in fact, the only remotely shared feature is the legs, and even there they are very different.
Did dinosaurs have feathers?
In order to answer this question we have to explore the differences between feathers and scales.
First of all, thanks to fossilized skin, we know that dinosaurs were covered in scales. And, we know today, that birds are covered in feathers and the only scales that are found are on the legs and even these scales are different from dinosaurs.
In order to distinguish between dinosaur and bird we first have to distinguish between scale and feather.
The scale is a single unit connected to hundreds of others to form a protective covering for the wearer. These scales mainly show in reptiles but can extend to groups of fish, amphibians, etc.
The scale is connected together in folds. These folds are creased together to form a sort of flexible armor. These scales are layered very close to each other and they have dips in their sheets of scales that connect with other layers of scales. This gives it mobility and protection.
These scales, individually, are very simple and protect the body from water, air, and other enemies to the flesh.
Feathers are a wonder to the human mind and few can debate the amazing complexity and beauty of these seemingly simple features of birds.
These feathers show mind-boggling design in their structure.
First of all, in a normal feather, you have the following:
Anterior Barbules (top)
Posteir Barbules (bottom)
The shaft of a feather is the thick “rod” you see that runs straight up (maybe slightly curved) the near middle of the feather. When you have this shaft (A.K.A. rachis) it is split into two different parts, known as vanes.
These vanes are the two side of the feather. These vanes are then made up of barbs. These barbs are the small, individual lines of what feels like silk. You can hardly distinguish them from the vanes because they are connected by amazing little barbules that run up and down and on both sides of each barb (anterior barbules run along the top and posteir barbules run along the bottom).
These barbules intertwine with the barbules on the next barb and so on and so forth. But, how are these barbules keeping the barbs together? Well, an amazing thing called a hook catches a groove in the opposite barbule. The hook swings over and fits perfectly snug against that groove.
There is a small (microscopic, in fact) groove that is in line with the tinier hook attached to the barbule. This hook, when latched with the barbule on the next barb, latches over and connects with that same groove. This groove insures that the barbules will stay together so the barbs can stay together so the vanes can stay one, compact feather!
Therefore, as the above descriptions of scales and feathers states, the difference between scales and feathers is astronomical!
However, the question remains: did dinosaurs evolve into birds?
The question can only be answered by the facts; feathers and scales are extremely different and millions of years of evolution, no matter what the conditions, would not change that.