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Latest Evolution of birds Stories

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2008-09-30 13:36:38

Paleontologists have discovered the remains of a large meat-eating dinosaur with a breathing apparatus much like a modern bird, fortifying the link between birds and dinosaurs and helping to explain the evolution of birds' unique system of breathing. The scientists said the specimen, pulled from 85-million-year-old rock along the banks of Rio Colorado in Argentina's Mendoza Province, was a 33-foot-long (10 meter), two-legged predator that weighed as much as an elephant and likely had...

2008-09-11 18:01:43

Ostriches, emus, kiwis and other winged non-flyers might seem to be birds of a feather, sharing similar evolutionary origins, but the story could turn out to be much weirder, with perhaps numerous flying ancestors. This group of birds, called ratites, has been viewed by biologists as part of a larger group (paleognaths) of mostly extinct birds that are key to understanding the early evolution of birds. All living ratites are found in the Southern Hemisphere and share features associated...

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2008-09-04 11:38:18

Large flightless birds of the southern continents "“ African ostriches, Australian emus and cassowaries, South American rheas and the New Zealand kiwi "“ do not share a common flightless ancestor as once believed. Instead, each species individually lost its flight after diverging from ancestors that did have the ability to fly, according to new research conducted in part by University of Florida zoology professor Edward Braun. The new research, which appears this week in the...

2008-06-27 12:02:21

By Jeremy Manier and Tim De Chant, Chicago Tribune Jun. 27--When a falcon swoops from the sky to seize its fleeing prey, no one would mistake the sleek predator for a gaudy parrot. Yet the secret kinship of falcons and parrots is one of many surprises in a landmark genetic study of 169 bird species being published by Field Museum researchers. The lovely birds we see each day may never look quite the same again. One likely consequence of the study in Friday's edition of the journal...

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2008-01-24 15:05:00

A letter published in the advanced online publication Nature has revealed new insight into the evolution of flight in birds.    The issue has remained controversial among scientists, and previous theories have usually been based on interpretations of various fossil forms.   However, this new report is based on experimental observations of young birds, and suggests wing-stroke dynamics are the key to understanding the evolution of avian flight. The research was led by...

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2007-09-06 15:13:39

An 80-million-year-old dinosaur fossil unearthed in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia demonstrates that miniaturization, long thought to be a hallmark of bird origins and a necessary precursor of flight, occurred progressively in primitive dinosaurs. The find, described in the September 7 issue of the journal Science, is made up of the fossilized bones of a new dinosaur the researchers have named Mahakala, and includes portions of its skull, forelimb and hindlimb, as well as much of the vertebral...

2006-06-15 13:05:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A set of 110-million-year-old fossils from China is the earliest example of a modern-looking bird and strongly suggests ancestors of all living birds were waterfowl, researchers said on Thursday. The pigeon-sized bird probably resembled a tern or a loon, the researchers said. Called Gansus yumenensis, it would have been an accomplished flyer and diver and could well be one of the ancestors of modern birds, the researchers...

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2005-04-15 13:11:36

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The rare discovery of eggs inside a dinosaur has given scientists new clues about the reproductive biology of the creatures and more support for the theory that birds came from dinosaurs. The pair of shelled eggs is the first of its kind found inside a dinosaur, said researchers who reported the discovery in Friday's issue of the journal Science. Scientists found the dinosaur produced eggs in some ways like a crocodile and in other ways like a bird. Crocodiles and similar...