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New Hints on How Birds Started Flying

According to a specimen from China, birds underwent skeleton changes about 120 million years ago that helped them to fly high in the sky. The new fossil evidence clears the picture about the evolution of bird flight. The evolution in birds happened during the heyday of dinosaurs.

It was believed that the striking feature of birds like fused bones were present only in advanced birds that lived just before the dinosaurs got extinct. A solid and rigid skeleton is supposed to be a part of modern birds. During the Early Cretaceous, the bird Pterygornis dapingfangensi lived in north – eastern China. The bird is the second of its kind that got discovered and is beautifully preserved. The co – researcher, Min Wang from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing said that the discovery shifted the date for these birds’ features by over 40 million years.

The period of bird evolution led to fusion of some of the vertebrae and bones of the pelvic girdle. The tail, finger and leg bones were also lost.

By: Bhavna Sharma