Anyone who has seen the classic movie Jurassic Park knows that today’s birds are theorized to be direct descendents of the dinosaurs. Well, that theory is now fact as scientists have closed the gap between the two thus proving the theory correct.
Bolstering this new discovery is an assortment of items including the existing record of fossils and those fossils that show some of the dinos indeed had feathers. Imagining those frightening and sometimes funny giant lizards with feathering is something that stirs the imagination and may well mean our depictions of them in the past have been wrong in many cases.
There is no ‘missing link’ so to speak but a gradual evolution of the creatures into feathered ones and then progressively dwindling in size probably due to the mass extinction event eons ago that wiped out the age of dinosaur domination. Over 850 physiological features from some 150 extinct species of bird gave way to this discovery by Steve Brusatte, Edinburgh University’s top paleontologists and his team. Piecing together the puzzle allowed for them to make a family tree of sorts showing the evolutionary pattern thus clinching the theory into factual examination.
No one knows why birds beat out the dinosaurs or what remained of them after the asteroid impact that almost wiped their species clean but one George Gaylord Simpson, noted paleontologist put out a postulate in the 1940s that when that new physiological form takes place the diversification of bird species rose and spread out.
With this new data, it will take scientists some time as well as illustrators and even Hollywood to rethink and redesign what dinosaurs may have looked like. There is doubt that one would see a brontosaurus or T Rex adorned in colorful plumage but there are large species of dinosaurs that may well have had such. New data as to which species did or did not have feathers will be bandied about and that information will be seen in text books and on the big screen no doubt.
This discovery is just another in the long line of new data about dinosaurs emerging in the news of late. More gigantic dinos have been discovered as well as odd shaped ones and those in areas no one had suspected to find fossils. It goes to show we still have a lot to discover about dinosaurs and the millions upon millions of years they dwelt on Earth.