Birds got smart by becoming big babes

Although a sparrow and a Tyrannosaurus Rex might appear to have nothing in common, evolutionary biologists see more that relates the two creatures than not.  A new study, led by Harvard scientists, has shown that modern birds are essentially living dinosaurs with skulls that are remarkably similar to those of their juvenile ancestors. Arkhat Abzhanov, Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, a PhD student in Abzhanov laboratory and the first author of a paper published this week in Nature, found evidence that the evolution of birds is the result of a drastic change in how dinosaurs developed. Sexual maturity in many dinosaurs took many years to reach. Birds, however, sped up the clock, with some species taking as little as 12 weeks to mature, which allows them to retain the physical characteristics of baby dinosaurs. "What is interesting about this research is the way it illustrates evolution as a developmental phenomenon," Abzhanov said. "By changing the developm

Birds got smart by becoming big babes

The skulls of birds look just like the skulls of young dinosaurs, suggesting that arrested development was the key to their evolution

Mon 28 May 12 from Newscientist

Change in developmental timing was crucial in the evolutionary shift from dinosaurs to birds: study

At first glance, it's hard to see how a common house sparrow and a Tyrannosaurus Rex might have anything in common. After all, one is a bird that weighs less than an ounce, and the other is ...

Sun 27 May 12 from Phys.org

Timing is everything, Tue 29 May 12 from Labspaces.net

Modern Birds Are Really Baby Dinosaurs

The next time you bird watch, keep in mind that our feathered friends are closely related to the Velociraptor.

Wed 30 May 12 from Discovery.com

Study: Birds resemble juvenile dinosaurs

AUSTIN, Texas, May 31 (UPI) -- The evolution of birds is the result of a drastic change in how dinosaurs developed, U.S. researchers say.

Thu 31 May 12 from UPI

Birds are baby dinosaurs, say Harvard scientists

Birds and dinosaurs are more closely related than previously thought, say scientists who claim that modern birds are, essentially, living juvenile dinosaurs...

Tue 29 May 12 from Science a Go Go

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

Researchers 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. ...

Wed 30 May 12 from ScienceDaily

Timing was crucial in the evolutionary shift from dinosaurs to birds

At first glance, it’s hard to see how a common house sparrow and a Tyrannosaurus Rex might have anything in [...]

Mon 28 May 12 from Science Blog

Timing is everything

As reported in a May 27 paper in Nature, Harvard scientists found evidence that the evolution of birds is the result of a drastic change in how dinosaurs developed. Rather than take years to ...

Sun 27 May 12 from Eurekalert

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