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Are birds really dinosaurs?: Evolution history can be outside your window!

Believe it or not, it is accurate to think of dinosaurs as more bird-like than reptile-like!

Many would believe that reptiles are the descendants of dinosaurs and the only ones that managed to evolve directly from them, but that is incorrect because birds are the only dinosaurs that are still alive today.

The story of the disappearance of dinosaurs is one that everyone knows, however, what do we know about those who were available to survive. Yes, real dinosaurs are outside your window. Why did birds were allowed to survive and the dinosaurs didn’t? 201 million years ago, dinosaurs almost ruled the world, they were almost everywhere and with many species, even held the top carnivore and top herbivore spots in food chains.

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You might find interesting: An almost-perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo sheds new light into evolution

There’s no doubt

The oldest bird fossils are about 150 million years old, and this gave clear evidence that birds are a type of dinosaur, nowadays the debate is just about some details. The stronger evidence comes from fossilized soft tissue, and feathers, ones that are more bird-like, just like the ones we know today.

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Birds evolved from a group of meat-eating dinosaurs named therepods, the same group that Tyrannosaurus rex belonged to, however, birds evolved from small theropods, not big ones like the T. Rex.

They used to look like small and feathered dinosaurs and had much in common, like their mouths with sharp teeth, but as time went by, birds lost their teeth and evolved beaks.

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What’s the origin of birds? Were dinosaurs able to fly?

The fossils of Anchiornis, a late Jurassic winged dinosaur, with large feather arrays on its legs, suggest the possibility that birds evolved from a gliding ancestor that had effectively four wings.

Velociraptors were covered in feathers

Even though its fossils only preserve the bones, their skeleton has quill knobs on the ulna, the wing bone that is also found on today’s birds; however, they couldn’t fly, so the feathers could be to do with the display. So, you shouldn’t believe what the movies tell you.

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Hollywood has insisted on representing dinosaurs as huge reptiles, however, they do not always do it correctly and some images end up being far from reality and tend to be confusing compared to the reality drawn by paleontologists.

The most famous example is the Jurassic Park saga, whose creators do not take into account the geological time to which the different creatures belong.

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The end of dinosaurs

A huge asteroid strike and massive volcanic eruptions caused disastrous changes to the environment, and after more than 140 million years in charge, most dinosaurs went extinct and only birds remained.

For the next 66 million years birds evolved in many ways; nowadays there are at least 11,000 bird species. Their survival compared to dinosaurs is probably due to factors such as their small size, the fact that they could eat different foods, and their ability to fly.

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So next time a little bird comes across your way or stands at the edge of your window, remember that you are actually looking at a very close relative of dinosaurs.

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