STL Science Center

STL Science Center

30 April 2012

Sinosauropteryx on Film

In the modern day three-fourths of all land animals have the ability to fly. Feathers and wings gave birth to one group of animals that would evolve flight as a mode of transportation. Insects of course were flying by then, as were pterosaurs, but some animals that were to fly were in the process of being "created" through evolution during the reign of the pterosaurs. We are not talking about bats, the fourth group to take flight, but birds. Birds had to come from somewhere and the evidence that birds came from dinosaurs continues to mount; there are other arguments in the debate of bird evolution that are certainly worth considering but for our purposes today we will side with the dinosaur to bird transition. Ignoring the evolution into total flight for the moment, we have to first get our feathers and wings. Sinosauropteryx is not thought to have a wing like structure, but this is considered to be one of the earliest skeletons with actual evidence of the beginnings of feathering, which would eventually lead to wings. There are three important videos which explain the evolution of wings, feathers, and the discovery and importance of the original Sinosauropteryx fossils. Watch and enjoy these videos, in order, the discovery of the fossil:
The evolution of the feather:
The evolution of the wing:

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