STL Science Center

STL Science Center

11 March 2014

Once More Compared

I can easily have a simple day and simply tell everyone to read the paper shared recently on size and evolution preceding the adaptations to powered flight; however, I have other papers for today as well. There are a couple of really good papers (I am leaving out the papers that named Jinfengopteryx) that I definitely recommend to learn more about our "dino-bird" of the week. One paper, that is available to all as an abstract, but can be found with a little effort, inter-library loan, or good friends, compares Jinfengopteryx and Archaeopteryx (as well as other long-tailed near Aves). The comparison is fantastic and the topic overall is very intriguing. The skeletons as well as the feather impressions are compared and the placement and flight abilities of the different "dino-birds" are discussed thoroughly. The second paper, available as a PDF file here, discusses the ecological factors that caused specialized evolution to occur in theropod dinosaurs. Specifically, the ecological factors promoting herbivory (herbivor-ism? vegetarianism?) to become dominant features of the diets of some theropods including the "dino-bird" Jinfengopteryx are the main discussion points of this paper. It makes for some fun reading, I promise!

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