Evolution of Birds is Due to Drastic Change in How Dinosaurs Developed

Continuing on with my Evolution-themed posts over the past week or so, here is an interesting study which seems to confirm what many of us have long suspected:

Researchers from Harvard University, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have found evidence that the evolution of birds is the result of a drastic change in how dinosaurs developed. Scientists have long understood that modern birds descended from dinosaurs. Rather than take years to reach sexual maturity, as many dinosaurs did, birds sped up the clock — some species take as little as 12 weeks to mature — allowing them to retain the physical characteristics of baby dinosaurs.

The results of the study appeared May 27 in an online edition of the journal Nature. (Ed: read the paper here)

“What is interesting about this research is the way it illustrates evolution as a developmental phenomenon,” said Arkhat Abzhanov, associate professor at Harvard and study co-author. “By changing the developmental biology in early species, nature has produced the modern bird — an entirely new creature — and one that, with approximately 10,000 species, is today the most successful group of land vertebrates on the planet.”

via Evolution of birds is result of a drastic change in how dinosaurs developed.

This is nothing new.  Archeopteryx is quite solid enough to show this.  Also interesting is how Dino DNA is still within modern birds, how it can be tweaked, and how that can bring Dino’s ‘back to life’ (so to speak).  For example:

See also this article.

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