The Relation Between Birds and Dinosaurs
One question that has stumped many paleontologists for centuries is, “Are birds dinosaurs?” Paleontologists have argued back and forth trying to prove or disprove each side of the theory. So far, advocates have supported their side through the facts of similar bone structures, bone organization, and the idea that dinosaurs had feathers. A common reaction that some people might have about the question is that there is no connection between the two species. Their main reasoning for this conclusion is based on the belief that the two do not have any similar characteristics. I too believed that there was no correlation between the two animals. However, after extensive research, I have completely changed my mind. I believe that birds are dinosaurs because they have similar bone structures, and they both possess feathers.
Bones are the major supporting facts which prove that birds are dinosaurs. Wishbones and swiveling wristbones are common bones shared between birds and dinosaurs. The discovery of dinosaur bones tells paleontologists what type of dinosaur it is. The arrangement of the bones also hints towards activities the dinosaur may have participated in. Chinese and American paleontologists located a dinosaur that was situated in a curled up position, similar to a sleeping duck’s pose. Mark Norell, Chairman of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, states, “Not only are troodontids, [cousins of the tyrannosaurs], very closely related to birds, but this particular one is in a stereotypical resting pose of birds” (Lemmonick par. 7). This dinosaur was discovered perched on its back legs, forelimbs at its side, head buried under its left elbow, and its tail wrapped around its body. Bird experts claim that birds rest in this exact position in order to conserve heat. Therefore, the
dinosaur found in this position is assumed to be warm-blooded, another similarity shared between birds and dinosaurs (Lemmonick 74 par. 1,7).
Some skeptics might argue that there is no possible way that a dinosaur was found in the crouching position. They might also reason that when a dinosaur dies, it lies down and dies. I can agree with this statement somewhat, but I have a few reasons for believing that the dinosaur was discovered in the position they claimed. One idea is that the dinosaur could have been propped up against a hill or by something big and sturdy. Another explanation for the dinosaur’s position is that the dinosaur could have died in its sleep. To the best of my knowledge, dinosaurs sleep standing up, or at least they did in all the Jurassic Park movies. There is more logic supporting the fact that a dinosaur was found in the crouching position than disproving it.
In addition to having similar bone structures, birds and dinosaurs also have hollow bones. Hollow bones are believed to reduce the weight of animals, which requires less work for flying. In...