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Changyuraptor yangi
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'Four-winged' dino sheds light on evolution of birds

The fossil of a strange dinosaur with four feathery wing-like appendages, unearthed in China, could provide clues to the origins of birds, scientists said on Tuesday.
Unearthed at a dinos' graveyard in northeast China's Liaoning province, the astonishingly-preserved fossil is that of a 125-million-year-old predator the size of a small but slim turkey.
Dubbed Changyuraptor yangi, the creature sports a full set of feathers over its entire body, which measured 1.3 meters from its beak to the tip of its super-long tail.

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RE: Sleeping Dinosaur
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Archaeopteryx: X-rays shine new light on mystery 'bird'

The feathered limbs of Archaeopteryx have fascinated palaeontologists ever since Charles Darwin's day.
Only 12 of these curious creatures have ever been found.
Now these precious fossils are going under the glare of a giant X-ray machine - to find out what lies buried beneath the surface.

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Shrinking helped dinosaurs and birds to keep evolving

A study that has 'weighed' hundreds of dinosaurs suggests that shrinking their bodies may have helped the group that became birds to continue exploiting new ecological niches throughout their evolution, and become hugely successful today.
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Maniraptorans
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How birds got their wings

Birds originated from a group of small, meat-eating theropod dinosaurs called maniraptorans sometime around 150 million years ago. Recent findings from around the world show that many maniraptorans were very bird-like, with feathers, hollow bones, small body sizes and high metabolic rates.
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Sleeping Dinosaur
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Shortening tails gave early birds a leg up

St Edmund Halls Dr Roger Benson, one of the College's tutors in Earth Sciences, has been working with Dr Jonah Choiniere of the University of the Witwätersrand, South Africa, to examine fossils of the earliest birds from the Cretaceous Period (145-66 million years ago). Their study shows that a radical shortening in the bony tails of birds that lived over 100 million years ago freed the legs to evolve in new ways and enabled an explosive radiation of early bird species.



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New contender for first bird

A Jurassic fossil that had been languishing in the archives of a Chinese museum may qualify as the first known bird, researchers say. If they are right, it could mean that flight evolved in dinosaurs only once, in the lineage that led to modern birds.
The single specimen of Aurornis xui was unearthed by a farmer in China's Liaoning Province and had been unidentified until palaeontologist Pascal Godefroit found it last year in the museum at the Fossil and Geology Park in Yizhou.

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What may be the earliest creature yet discovered on the evolutionary line to birds has been unearthed from the famous fossil beds of Liaoning, China.
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Title: Evolution of parental incubation behaviour in dinosaurs cannot be inferred from clutch mass in birds
Authors: Geoffrey F. Birchard, Marcello Ruta, and D. Charles Deeming 

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Dinosaurs shared the work

A study into the brooding behaviour of birds has revealed their dinosaur ancestors shared the load when it came to incubation of eggs.
Research into the incubation behaviour of birds suggests the type of parental care carried out by their long extinct ancestors.
The study aimed to test the hypothesis that data from extant birds could be used to predict the incubation behaviour of Theropods, the group of carnivorous dinosaurs from which birds descended.
The paper, out today in Biology Letters, was co-authored by Dr Charles Deeming and Dr Marcello Ruta from the University of Lincolns School of Life Sciences and Dr Geoff Birchard from George Mason University, Virginia.

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Microraptor
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Microraptor: A 4-Winged, Fish-Eating Dinosaur

Fossilised guts reveal that Microraptor - a four-winged, flying dinosaur - had an unusual taste for fish. Located near the fossils ribs, a mass of fish bones bearing the mark of strong digestive acids suggests the crow-sized reptiles prey veered from the arboreal to the aquatic.
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RE: Sleeping Dinosaur
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Dinosaur embryo fossils reveal life inside the egg

Scientists have gained a remarkable insight into some of the oldest dinosaur embryos ever found.
The remains of the creatures were unearthed in south west China and are about 190 million years old.
They belong to a group of dinosaurs called Lufengosaurus, long-necked beasts that fully grown would have stood about 9m in height.

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