Evolution of birds

bird evolutionavian evolutionprehistoric birdevolvedbirdsbirds evolvedbirds evolved from theropodsevolutionary treeevolved into modern birdsevolving into modern birds
The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropod dinosaurs named Paraves.wikipedia
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Origin of birds

bird evolutionBirds evolveddinosaur-bird connection
There is significant evidence that birds emerged within theropod dinosaurs, specifically, that birds are members of Maniraptora, a group of theropods which includes dromaeosaurs and oviraptorids, among others.
The scientific question of within which larger group of animals birds evolved, has traditionally been called the origin of birds.

Dinosaur

dinosaursDinosaurianon-avian dinosaurs
There is significant evidence that birds emerged within theropod dinosaurs, specifically, that birds are members of Maniraptora, a group of theropods which includes dromaeosaurs and oviraptorids, among others. The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropod dinosaurs named Paraves.
The fossil record demonstrates that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs, having evolved from earlier theropods during the Late Jurassic epoch.

Theropoda

theropodtheropodsTheropoda indet.
There is significant evidence that birds emerged within theropod dinosaurs, specifically, that birds are members of Maniraptora, a group of theropods which includes dromaeosaurs and oviraptorids, among others. The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropod dinosaurs named Paraves.
Recent theories propose that theropod body size shrank continuously over a period of 50 million years, from an average of 163 kg down to 0.8 kg, eventually evolving into modern birds.

Thomas Henry Huxley

Thomas HuxleyHuxleyT. H. Huxley
This was noted already in the 19th century, with Thomas Huxley writing:
After comparing Archaeopteryx with Compsognathus, he concluded that birds evolved from small carnivorous dinosaurs, a theory widely accepted today.

Paraves

paravianparaviansEumaniraptora
The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropod dinosaurs named Paraves.

Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx lithographicaArchaeornisGriphornis
For more than a century, the small theropod dinosaur Archaeopteryx lithographica from the Late Jurassic period was considered to have been the earliest bird.

Jurassic

Jurassic PeriodLate JurassicJurassic era
The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropod dinosaurs named Paraves.

Class (biology)

classsubclassclasses
Birds are categorized as a biological class, Aves.

Late Jurassic

Upper JurassicMalmlatest Jurassic
For more than a century, the small theropod dinosaur Archaeopteryx lithographica from the Late Jurassic period was considered to have been the earliest bird.

Crocodilia

crocodiliancrocodyliacrocodilians
According to the current consensus, Aves and a sister group, the order Crocodilia, together are the sole living members of an unranked "reptile" clade, the Archosauria.

Reptile

reptilesReptiliaSauropsida
According to the current consensus, Aves and a sister group, the order Crocodilia, together are the sole living members of an unranked "reptile" clade, the Archosauria.

Archosaur

Archosauriaarchosaursarchosaurian
According to the current consensus, Aves and a sister group, the order Crocodilia, together are the sole living members of an unranked "reptile" clade, the Archosauria.

Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event

extinction of the dinosaursCretaceous-Paleogene extinction eventK-Pg extinction event
Four distinct lineages of bird survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago, giving rise to ostriches and relatives (Paleognathae), ducks and relatives (Anseriformes), ground-living fowl (Galliformes), and "modern birds" (Neoaves).

Anseriformes

waterfowlanseriformwater birds
Four distinct lineages of bird survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago, giving rise to ostriches and relatives (Paleognathae), ducks and relatives (Anseriformes), ground-living fowl (Galliformes), and "modern birds" (Neoaves).

Galliformes

game birdgamebirdgalliform
Four distinct lineages of bird survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago, giving rise to ostriches and relatives (Paleognathae), ducks and relatives (Anseriformes), ground-living fowl (Galliformes), and "modern birds" (Neoaves).

Neoaves

neoavianCoronavesmodern birds
Four distinct lineages of bird survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago, giving rise to ostriches and relatives (Paleognathae), ducks and relatives (Anseriformes), ground-living fowl (Galliformes), and "modern birds" (Neoaves).

House sparrow

Passer domesticussparrowhouse sparrows
Phylogenetically, Aves is usually defined as all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of a specific modern bird species (such as the house sparrow, Passer domesticus), and either Archaeopteryx, or some prehistoric species closer to Neornithes (to avoid the problems caused by the unclear relationships of Archaeopteryx to other theropods).

Bird

birdsAvesavian
The evolution of birds began in the Jurassic Period, with the earliest birds derived from a clade of theropod dinosaurs named Paraves. Phylogenetically, Aves is usually defined as all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of a specific modern bird species (such as the house sparrow, Passer domesticus), and either Archaeopteryx, or some prehistoric species closer to Neornithes (to avoid the problems caused by the unclear relationships of Archaeopteryx to other theropods).

Maniraptora

maniraptoranmaniraptormaniraptorans
There is significant evidence that birds emerged within theropod dinosaurs, specifically, that birds are members of Maniraptora, a group of theropods which includes dromaeosaurs and oviraptorids, among others.

Oviraptoridae

oviraptoridoviraptoridsOviraptorinae
There is significant evidence that birds emerged within theropod dinosaurs, specifically, that birds are members of Maniraptora, a group of theropods which includes dromaeosaurs and oviraptorids, among others.

China

People's Republic of ChinaChineseCHN
Discoveries in northeast China (Liaoning Province) demonstrate that many small theropod dinosaurs did indeed have feathers, among them the compsognathid Sinosauropteryx and the microraptorian dromaeosaurid Sinornithosaurus.

Liaoning

Liaoning ProvinceFengtianFengtian Province
Discoveries in northeast China (Liaoning Province) demonstrate that many small theropod dinosaurs did indeed have feathers, among them the compsognathid Sinosauropteryx and the microraptorian dromaeosaurid Sinornithosaurus.

Feathered dinosaur

feathered dinosaursfeatheredprotofeathers
Discoveries in northeast China (Liaoning Province) demonstrate that many small theropod dinosaurs did indeed have feathers, among them the compsognathid Sinosauropteryx and the microraptorian dromaeosaurid Sinornithosaurus.

Compsognathidae

compsognathidcompsognathidsCompsognatha
Discoveries in northeast China (Liaoning Province) demonstrate that many small theropod dinosaurs did indeed have feathers, among them the compsognathid Sinosauropteryx and the microraptorian dromaeosaurid Sinornithosaurus.

Sinosauropteryx

Sinosauropteryx primaGMV 2124Sinosauropteryx? sp.
Discoveries in northeast China (Liaoning Province) demonstrate that many small theropod dinosaurs did indeed have feathers, among them the compsognathid Sinosauropteryx and the microraptorian dromaeosaurid Sinornithosaurus.