Fresh doubts over bird-dinosaur evolutionary links

Dinosaur evolution

Researchers at Oregon State University believe that their findings about the role of the femur (thigh bone) in a bird’s ability to process 20 times more oxygen than cold-blooded reptiles indicates that birds may have in fact evolved alongside, rather than from, dinosaurs.

Here’s an excerpt from Science Daily:

Researchers at Oregon State University have made a fundamental new discovery about how birds breathe and have a lung capacity that allows for flight – and the finding means it’s unlikely that birds descended from any known theropod dinosaurs.The conclusions add to other evolving evidence that may finally force many paleontologists to reconsider their long-held belief that modern birds are the direct descendants of ancient, meat-eating dinosaurs, OSU researchers say.”It’s really kind of amazing that after centuries of studying birds and flight we still didn’t understand a basic aspect of bird biology,” said John Ruben, an OSU professor of zoology. “This discovery probably means that birds evolved on a parallel path alongside dinosaurs, starting that process before most dinosaur species even existed.” [more here]

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