I like that you have to know some science to get today’s Off the Mark cartoon (by Mark Parisi):
Yes, but in the grand scheme of things, birds and dinosaurs are fairly CLOSE relatives! (But I can see using the word “distant” in light of the guests that have already arrived …)
And of course any organism could be called a distant relative of birds.
Yet http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13772-t-rex-kinship-with-chickens-confirmed.html#.UpJv-uJN-0g and being descended from in this instance is quite impressive in a genealogical sort of way, quite royal!
Question for someone:- Strictly within the clade Dinosauria are birds the only known flyers?
No, Microraptor was a four winged dinosaur that flew (gliding I suspect but there are papers on this. There were probably others too.
Thanks for that. A quick Google indicates that some people think Microraptor might have represented a “pre-avian” group directly on the line of descent to “birds” ~ i.e. the bird line came from four-winged Microraptors. So I suppose my revised question is…
Within the Dinosauria was flapping flight “discovered” only once, the same as for Mammals [bats]? The *jump* from gliding flying to flapping flying is so costly I would bet we’ll not find an independent “discovery” of flight among the dinos, & no doubt there are many unrecognised Dino gliders in the bone collections ~ since gliding is such a common solution which is much cheaper than flying.
Have a look at the fantastic ‘Tetrapod Zoology’ website of Darren Naish: TetZoo has just done a post on Microraptor
Very interesting! thank you BilBy have subbed to keep up on the latest. Very unlikely to have been a flapper then & flew as well as a lightweight feathered plank. :)
Yes, you are correct, because pterosaurus are not dinosaurs, though they are archosaurs like dinosaurs and crocodiles.
Well, Alxasaurus is rather avuncular.
Guess who’s coming for dinner…
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