Newly discovered dinosaur Eosinopteryx changing the way we look at birds, Southampton scientist claims

Eosinopteryx

Eosinopteryx

First published in Environment
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Winchester Chief Reporter

A NEWLY discovered dinosaur is changing forever the way we look at birds, a Southampton scientist claims.

Dr Gareth Dyke has co-written a paper following the discovery of a bird-like dinosaur in China, which roamed the Earth long before the beasts thought to be the oldest ancestors of modern birds were alive.

The fossil from the late-Jurassic period challenges widely accepted views on the origin of flight.

Dr Dyke, senior lecturer in vertebrate palaeontology at Southampton University, describes a new feathered dinosaur about 30cm in length which pre-dates the dinosaurs from which birds were long thought to have evolved.

Scientists long believed that birds evolved from dinosaurs called theropods from around 120-130 million years ago.

But recent discoveries of feathered dinosaurs from the older Middle-Late Jurassic period have cast doubt on the old theory.

The new 'bird-dinosaur' Eosinopteryx has been described by Dr Dyke in Nature Communications this week.

“This discovery sheds further doubt on the theory that the famous fossil Archaeopteryx - or “first bird” as it is sometimes referred to - was pivotal in the evolution of modern birds,” said Dr Dyke, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre.

“Our findings suggest that the origin of flight was much more complex than previously thought.”

The fossilised remains found in China indicate that, while feathered, this was a flightless dinosaur, because of its small wingspan and a bone structure that would have restricted its ability to flap its wings.

Comments (6)

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12:11pm Thu 24 Jan 13

southy says...

Very interesting read, Q Gareth would it of been more likely that there are more than one branch that lead up to birds.
Very interesting read, Q Gareth would it of been more likely that there are more than one branch that lead up to birds. southy
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12:26pm Thu 24 Jan 13

forest hump says...

I'm sure it interests some people but honestly: who really cares what happened 130 million years ago. I would rather we spent research monieson projects that could be beneficial to us all. Medical research or the like
I'm sure it interests some people but honestly: who really cares what happened 130 million years ago. I would rather we spent research monieson projects that could be beneficial to us all. Medical research or the like forest hump
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Subject48 says...

Its the oldest question man has asked: What came first the chicken or the egg!
Its the oldest question man has asked: What came first the chicken or the egg! Subject48
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Thu 24 Jan 13

kingnotail says...

Subject48 wrote:
Its the oldest question man has asked: What came first the chicken or the egg!
The egg. Egg-laying animals existed millions of years before chickens evolved.
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: Its the oldest question man has asked: What came first the chicken or the egg![/p][/quote]The egg. Egg-laying animals existed millions of years before chickens evolved. kingnotail
  • Score: 0

11:09pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Ginger_cyclist says...

How is this rewriting history other than it being a missing link in the evolution of birds? We've known for quite a while now that birds evolved from dinosaurs, it's nothing new, title should really be, "missing link found for birds", not the title that is present.
How is this rewriting history other than it being a missing link in the evolution of birds? We've known for quite a while now that birds evolved from dinosaurs, it's nothing new, title should really be, "missing link found for birds", not the title that is present. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Subject48 says...

kingnotail says...

aahhh............... >.
kingnotail says... aahhh............... >. Subject48
  • Score: 0

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