"With amber, it's different. We actually have the actual object.… we actually have this protofeather for the first time in the flesh."
Very interesting article and photos, even for a biology no-nothing like myself.
As a fellow "biology no nothing", I too was excited about this. It will be interesting to see what they can extrapolate from this find regarding look/function. They never explain what leads them to know that it's from the Theropod "little T-Rex's"? Or did I miss this?
"The protofeathers don't look like feathers from any modern bird, but are similar to those seen in fossils of therapods.", from one of the captions and "A theropod fossil from China shows bristle-like feathers on the head, neck, back and tail. However, many of the details have been obscured by the fossilization process", also from the captions. I would assume this is why, but you're right, its never really explicitly stated.