Latest Bird evolution Stories
The early stages of the process through which birds evolved from dinosaurs was slow and gradual, and there was no single “missing link” separating the two different types of creatures, according to research published in Thursday’s edition of the journal Current Biology.
The grand mystery over how massive, carnivorous dinosaurs gave rise to flying birds has a simple solution, as it turns out – the meat-eaters simply kept shrinking and shrinking over a period of 50 million years.
While dinosaurs may have disappeared from the face of the Earth, their lineage has survived in the form of birds and new research has found that both dinosaurs and birds evolved into smaller and smaller sizes – potentially contributing to their success.
The key characteristics of birds which allow them to fly – their wings and their small size – arose much earlier than previously thought.
Researchers who have discovered thin-toed tracks in fluvial sandstone in Australia said they were most likely made by two individual birds that were the size of a great egret or a small heron. These ancient birds would have lived during the Early Cretaceous period.
The ‘dino-bird’ Archaeopteryx has long fascinated paleontologists and a new study in the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry suggests that the animal had bright plumage and wasn’t all-black as previously thought.
A new discovery made by paleontologists digging in China has put Archaeopteryx back on the map as one of the earliest birds.
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