Name: Juravenator starki
Etymology: After the Bavarian Jura mountains, and the Latin 'venator' (hunter); and the Stark family, who own the quarry where the fossil was found
Distribution: Late Jurassic (Late Kimmeridgian) of Germany
Type Specimen: Near complete articulated skeleton, missing only the last third of its tail
Estimated size: 75-80 cm (juvenile)
First described by: Göhlich et al., 2006
A number of coelurosaurs have been found possessing fossilised feathers or feather-like structures. J. starki is also a coelurosaur, however the authors found an, "...absence of feathers or feather-like structures..." in this specimen, including no evidence of structures that would support feathers in the preserved soft tissue. You might expect that in an almost perfectly preserved specimen such as this, if there were any feathers present then they would have been fossilised. But absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. And quite rightly, the authors point out that changes in season or growth stages may influence the presence or absence of feathers.
Butler, R. J., Upchurch, P. 2007. Highly incomplete taxa and the phylogenetic relationships of the theropod dinosaur Juravenator starki. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 27(1), 253-256.
Chiappe, L. M., Göhlich, U. B. 2010. Anatomy of Juravenator starki (Theropoda: Coelurosauria) from the Late Jurassic of Germany. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen 258(3), 257-296.
Göhlich, U. B., Chiappe, L. M. 2006. A new carnivorous dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen archipelago. Nature 440, 329-332.
Reisdorf, A. G., Wuttke, M. (2012). Re-evaluating Moodie’s Opisthotonic-Posture Hypothesis in Fossil Vertebrates Part I : Reptiles — the taphonomy of the bipedal dinosaurs Compsognathus longipes and Juravenator starki from the Solnhofen Archipelago (Jurassic, Germany). Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 92 (1), 119-168.
Schmitz, L., Motani, R. 2011. Nocturnality in Dinosaurs Inferred from Scleral Ring and Orbit Morphology. Science 332 (6030), 705-708.
Therrien, F., Henderson, D. M. 2007. My theropod is bigger than yours … or not: estimating body size from skull length in theropods. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 27(1), 108-115.