Palaeontology: Feathered dinosaurs in a tangle

  title={Palaeontology: Feathered dinosaurs in a tangle},
  author={Lawrence M. Witmer},
  • L. Witmer
  • Published 1 October 2009
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • Nature
A dramatic feathered dinosaur fossil from the Jurassic of China resolves a 'temporal paradox'. But it adds intriguing complications to the debates on the evolution of feathers and flight in birds. 

Feathered dinosaurs reconsidered: New insights from baraminology and ethnotaxonomy

Birds could not have evolved from land animal ancestors because Genesis clearly states that birds and land animals were created on separate days. As a result, young-earth creationists have

Didactyl Tracks of Paravian Theropods (Maniraptora) from the ?Middle Jurassic of Africa

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Filamentous Integuments in Nonavialan Theropods and Their Kin: Advances and Future Perspectives for Understanding the Evolution of Feathers

F fossil specimens will continue to provide key data for the reconstruction and documentation of the evolutionary history of feathers, including evolutionary experiments and forms that no longer occur in nature.

Walking Like Dinosaurs: Chickens with Artificial Tails Provide Clues about Non-Avian Theropod Locomotion

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Evolution of Avian Flight

A growing number of researchers have suggested that hypotheses must be consistent not only with the fossil record, but also with experimental support for form–function relationships and behaviours inferred by origin-of-flight scenarios.

Genomic organization and molecular phylogenies of the beta (β) keratin multigene family in the chicken (Gallus gallus) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata): implications for feather evolution

Similarity in the overall genomic organization of β-keratins in Galliformes and Passeriformes suggests similar organization in all Neognathae birds, and perhaps in the ancestral lineages leading to modern birds, such as the paravian Anchiornis huxleyi.

Using physical models to study the gliding performance of extinct animals.

It is found that body orientation relative to the movement of air past the animal determines whether it is difficult or easy to maneuver, and therefore the design of gliders, both biological and man-made, is reviewed.

Dinosaurs , Robots and Tails

The results support the hypothesis that gradual changes in the location of the center of mass resulted in more crouched hind-limb postures, and a shift from hip-driven to knee-driven limb movements through theropod evolution, and suggest that, through careful experimental manipulations during the growth phase of ontogeny, extant birds can potentially be used to gain important insights into previously unexplored aspects of bipedal non-avian theropods locomotion.



Four-winged dinosaurs from China

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A new maniraptoran dinosaur from China with long feathers on the metatarsus

A new eumaniraptoran theropod from China, with avian affinities, is reported, which also has long pennaceous feathers on its feet, suggesting that such morphology might represent a primitive adaptation close to the theropOD–bird transition.

A pre-Archaeopteryx troodontid theropod from China with long feathers on the metatarsus

The extensive feathering of this specimen, particularly the attachment of long pennaceous feathers to the pes, sheds new light on the early evolution of feathers and demonstrates the complex distribution of skeletal and integumentary features close to the dinosaur–bird transition.

Four-Winged Dinosaurs, Bird Precursors, or Neither?

N fossil specimens from the Early Cretaceous lakebeds of Liaoning, in northeastern China, are once again bridging and even overturning what we thought we knew about various aspects of vertebrate

The origin and evolution of birds

Ornithologist and evolutionary biologist Alan Feduccia, author of "Age of Birds," here draws on fossil evidence and studies of the structure and biochemistry of living birds to present knowledge and data on avian evolution and propose a model of this evolutionary process.

Biplane wing planform and flight performance of the feathered dinosaur Microraptor gui

This reconstruction shows that the wings of Microraptor could have resembled a staggered biplane configuration during flight, where the forewing formed the dorsal wing and the metatarsal wing formed the ventral one.

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