The Weird Evolutionary Turns on the Way to Becoming Birds

The evolution of birds has always seemed puzzling to me. There were once dinosaurs with feathers that didn’t fly. There were once reptiles that flew (pterodactyls), and if they had feathers they didn’t use them for flight. Why would an animal grow feathers if not for flying? And why did dinosaurs start to fly, anyway? A fossil discovery in 2007 shows us a weird transitional dinosaur/bird that illustrates how feathers really had nothing to do with the urge to fly. Birds developed the a wing first, and in fact some resembled bats more than they resembled the reptiles they were. Or were they? The boundary between dinosaur and bird was blurred for an awful long time while they decided what they would use those feathers for. The fact that they ever got it together long enough to develop true wings and become flying birds is an astonishing turn in evolution. PBS Eons explains this strange transitionary species. This video is only eight and a half minutes long; the rest is an ad.

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Source: neatorama

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