Monday, June 4, 2012

Modern Birds are actually Baby Dinosaurs

Modern birds hold the physical individuality of baby dinosaurs, according to a new Nature study that found birds are even more closely linked to dinosaur than before thought.

Depending on the non-avian dinosaur and bird compared, that might be tough to consider. When researchers go beyond the surface to the tissue and skull levels, however, the similarities become extra obvious.

"The evaluation of the many characteristics of birds –- things like feathers, flight, and wishbones -– has usually been a hard problem for biologists," Mark Norell, chair of the division of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History and one of the paper's co-authors, added.

"By analyzing fossil proof from skeletons, eggs, and soft tissue of bird-like dinosaurs and primitive birds, we've learned that birds are living theropod dinosaurs, a group of carnivorous birds that include Velociraptor," Norell sustained.

"This new work advances our knowledge by providing an authoritative example of how developmental changes played a main role in the source and development of birds."

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