New Bird-Like Dinosaur Settles Origins of Flight
Feathered dinosaurs used to be as valuable as gold dust. Now, so many specimens have been unearthed that museums are overflowing. But for all the specimens, a crucial question has remained unanswered: which species was the original ancestor of birds?
A new species found in China has shed light on the answer. The two-foot long Aurornis xui, the “daybreak bird,” fleshes out the relationships between bird-like dinosaurs and, along with its cousin species Archaeopteryx and Anchiornis, restores its lineage as the likely predecessors of birds.