Dinosaurs and Birds

27 Oct 2018

At https://phys.org/print459671315.html ... we have a possible missing linke - between dinosaurs and birds. It looks like they might need to find a fossil from the dinosaur age to conclusively show birds are descended from one group of the dinosaurs. A team from Manschester University (in collaboration with the Chinese) think they might have isolated such a fossil. The findings are published in the journal 'Historical Biology' (2018) DOI:10.1080/08912963.2018.1818443

At https://phys.org/print459 ... a new dinosaur excavation site has emerged in China - an hour's drive from the border with North Korea. The site is dated to the Cretaceous - and specifically to 100 million years ago. It was discovered when building a new city (see images below). Xu Xing became fascinated by paleontology after the discovery of dinosaurs with traces of feathers were found in ancient lake beds in NE China. He has since become an international figure of note, one to consult on the birds descended from dinosaurs theory. These small dinosaurs were discovered in a mixture of volcanic ash and fine grained shale (or hard silt, one might say). This mixture preserved soft tissue, a rarity (including what can only have been remnants of feathers). Most dinosaur fossils containl only the bone and if the soft tissue had been absent from these lake bed deposits Xu Xing may never have been brought to our attention. He has become a leading figure consulted by fellow paleontologists around the world - and he has also led excavations elsewhere in China (in Mongolia, Liaoning, Yunnan etc.). China's programme of builting towns and cities has accelerated the discovery of dinosaurs.