Holtz 2018 tackles the question:
What sort of dermal covering did basal dinosaurs, like Herrerasaurus have? Naked skin (Fig. 1)? Scales? Dorsal osteoderms? Pre-feather filaments? Or combinations thereof?
We looked at this question
earlier. In the poultry section of grocery stores chickens are nude and have no scales.
“In some of these analyses, the more likely ancestral status for Dinosauria or Ornithoscelida was recovered as filamentous. However, the fact that the basal relationships are indeed poorly resolved at present requires an acceptance of ambiguity for the integumentary condition of the original dinosaur.”
In the non-ambiguous
large reptile tree (LRT, 1315 taxa) the ancestral state (based on phylogenetic bracketing) is nudity with filaments and dorsal osteoderms transformed into subcutaneous spine tables that disappear shortly thereafter. Given that Holtz did not recover a clade Phytodinosauria, he is not likely to have included basal bipedal crocs as proximal outgroups, as recovered in the LRT.
Holtz TR 2018. Integumentary status: It’s complicated: phylogenetic sedimentary, and biological impediments to resolving the ancestral integument of Mesozoic Dinosauria. SVP abstracts.