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Feathered Dinos? Essay

790 words - 4 pages

Lately, it has been declared that birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs called maniraptoran theropods, small meat-eating dinosaurs like the Velociraptor. There is an abundance of evidence originating from different sources that birds evolved from carnivorous dinosaurs that lived during the Mesozoic Era. The primary source of evidence supporting this scientific view is the similarity in the shape of birds’ bones and many maniraptorans’ bones, but extraordinary new discoveries have included more pieces of evidence. One involves many features from the eggs of these dinosaurs. A lot of fossils have revealed that not only did maniraptorans act like birds when they lay their eggs, but that the ...view middle of the document...

Even though Archaeopteryx stands is the only bird in the late Jurassic fossil record, within the last decade, many varieties of birds have been found in Cretaceous rocks from 130-115 million years ago. Some show that a great diversity of birds with long, bony tails came before the evolution of the birds with the familiar short, bony tail.
Early Cretaceous birds blossomed in many shapes and sizes. Confuciusornis was crow-sized, stout-beaked, and carried gigantic claws in its wings while the contemporaneous Sapeornis had very long and narrow wings like an albatross. These two were much bigger than the sparrow-sized Eoenantiornis and Iberomesornis, which, like most early birds, had toothed jaws like Archaeopteryx’s. The difference in the design of skulls, teeth, wings, and feet show that even this early in their evolutionary history, birds had already specialized themselves into a host of different diets like seed-feeders, sap-eaters, insect-feeders, fish-eaters, and meat-eaters. Simultaneously, the variety of novel features developed for the wings and ribcage suggests that not too long after Archaeopteryx, birds gained the flying abilities not too different from the ones that we see today. As the rocks from the Cretaceous period grow younger, the fossil record includes many new bird species featuring even more diverse lifestyles. The large, flightless, foot-propelled divers,...

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