Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Archaeopteryx Growth Trajectory: The Dinosaur to Bird Avalance of Evidence Continues

Archaeopteryx, it seems, matured more like a dinosaur than a bird, according to a new report from ScienceDaily. How do we know this , you ask?:
That's because new, microscopic images of the ancient cells and blood vessels inside the bones of the winged, feathered, claw-handed creature show unexpectedly slow growth and maturation that took years, similar to that found in dinosaurs, from which birds evolved. In contrast, living birds grow rapidly and mature in a matter of weeks.

Also groundbreaking is the finding that the rapid bone growth common to all living birds but surprisingly absent from the Archaeopteryx was not necessary for avian dinosaur flight.
This is not good news for those arguing that Archaeopteryx was a true bird (see the ICR article here and the AIG article here), not that that position was tenable to begin with. The other notable conclusion is this:
"From these findings, we see that the physiological and metabolic transition into true birds occurred millions of years after Archaeopteryx," he said. "But, perhaps equally important, we've shown that avians were able to fly even with dinosaur physiology."
The Avalanche continues.

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