Dinosaurs and Birds
Prehistoric Birds - The Story of Bird Evolution and Extinction
The very first birds evolved from the small, feathered theropods of the Jurassic period, after which birds spread to fill every available ecological niche: hunters, flyers, swimmers and more. Here's everything you need to know about the evolution (and extinction) of our feathered friends.
Dino-Birds - The Small, Feathered Dinosaurs
In the Mesozoic Era, there wasn't just one "missing link" that connected dinosaurs and birds, but dozens of them: small, feathered theropods that showed a tantalizing mixture of dinosaur and bird features. Here's what we know about these "dino-birds," as they're sometimes called.
The Origins of Flight: How Feathered Dinosaurs Learned to Fly
There are two theories about how feathered dinosaurs started to fly, which can be loosely classified as "bottom up" and "top down." Here's a look at the evidence for and against each, and the current state of thinking among paleontologists.
Sinosauropteryx: The First Feathered Dinosaur
A famous fossil in China produced the first indisputable evidence of feathered dinosaurs. Here's how Sinosauropteryx was found, and what it implies for the evolution of birds from dinosaurs.
Why Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers?
Every day, it seems, paleontologists are discovering new types of feathered dinosaurs. Why, exactly, did so many raptors, tyrannosaurs and "dino-birds" sport feathers instead of the usual reptilian scales?
Why Aren't Birds Dinosaur-Sized?
Paleontologists agree that birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs. So why aren't any birds the size of T. Rex or Apatosaurus?