Monday, February 08, 2010

Are Dinosaur Descendants Alive Today?

Looks like a bird, doesn't it? This fossil may be a transition between dinosaurs and birds. I think that these discoveries mean that one group of dinosaurs became birds. Or perhaps as this article suggests, birds and dinosaurs had a common ancestor, but birds diverged early from dinosaurs. The problem with paleontology is that fossils are rare, whole fossils with soft tissue preservation are even rarer, and evidence is fragmentary. I would like to see more bird whole genome sequences so that we might be able to reconstruct the common ancestor to all birds. It would be a theropod for sure. Would the earliest common ancestor look like a bird or a feathered dinosaur like Anchiornis huxleyi though?

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Comments:
Nah New Zealand's Tuatara is the true missing link - and an old landlady of mine came from Invacargill ;) http://nzphoto.tripod.com/animal/tuatara.htm
 
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