Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dinosaurs of a Feather

'Oldest Bird' Knocked Off Its Perch

A new fossil discovery of a different species of feathered dinosaur has led paleontologists to shift its positioning of Archaeopteryx in the tree of life. Once thought to be the most distant ancestor of birds, the new discovery of Xiaotingia Zhengi, has pushed Archaeopteryx from the main bird line to an offshoot of "bird-like" dinosaurs called deinonychosaurs. Very subtle differences in the wishbone and snout were apparently the deal breakers in this case. What I love about science is that it's an ever-changing, evolving view of our universe and life itself. If new evidence comes comes to light that requires us to rethink things and rearrange how we perceive the order of the cosmos, we are obliged to follow where the facts take us. It is no doubt that birds evolved from some form of dinosaur and that's still and exciting thought. Every time I see a bird, I can't help but think I'm looking at a dinosaur...

No comments:

Post a Comment