National Geographic featured The History of Feathers in its February 2011 issue. Other related material is included, such as blog entries about recently discovered evidence of feathers on dinosaurs. This model speculates on what Deinonychus might hve looked like with feathers.
A NatGeo television program, Dinomorphosis, explores the this nw evidence further. It reports that the chicken shares more DNA with T. rex than any other surviving animal. New research techniques make it possible to speculate even about feather color. They've created models, giving us more material to imagine the dawn of animals on Earth.
Like many kids, I was fascinated by dinosaurs and wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up. I didn't find that path, but as it turns out, poultry isn't far removed.