Paleontology has always been one of my hobbies and nothing quite as cool as dinosaurs has existed on this planet since their extinction. Needless to say I spend a lot of time reading up on these extinct creatures and one of the debates that’s gone on for a while is whether or not dinosaurs evolved into birds. Well new research is suggesting that dinosaurs and birds evolved from a common ancestor and existed in a state of parallel evolution instead:
Almost 20 years of research at OSU on the morphology of birds and dinosaurs, along with other studies and the newest PNAS research, Ruben said, are actually much more consistent with a different premise — that birds may have had an ancient common ancestor with dinosaurs, but they evolved separately on their own path, and after millions of years of separate evolution birds also gave rise to the raptors. Small animals such as velociraptor that have generally been thought to be dinosaurs are more likely flightless birds, he said.
“Raptors look quite a bit like dinosaurs but they have much more in common with birds than they do with other theropod dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus,” Ruben said. “We think the evidence is finally showing that these animals which are usually considered dinosaurs were actually descended from birds, not the other way around.”
This is bloody cool and certainly sheds some light on my arch-nemesis the velociraptor (Clever girls). Seriously though it’s amazing how the science of extinct creatures is constantly changing and we are always finding out new things about these old buggers.