Monday, June 21, 2010

This bird-like dinosaur reveals an interesting part about the evolutionary history of birds. This member of the Scansoriopterygidae (“climbing wings”) had no flight feathers, but it did have four long tail feathers. These feathers were likely used in displays. Due to its age (It lived in China around 152 to 168 million years ago), it provides evidence that feathers evolved several million years before flight did (not surprisingly). It was also one of the smallest dinosaurs, reaching just 10 inches in height as an adult (not counting its feathers). That’s the size of a pigeon.


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