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Protobird
"Protobird" is an informal term that has been used by some paleontologists when discussing animals that, while technically classified as non-avian dinosaurs, possess many features normally associated with birds. All protobirds are extinct. Zhou and Farlow (2001), for example, used the term "protobird" for primitive members of the clade Avialae. In this sense, protobirds would include animals like Confuciusornis, Sapeornis, and the Enantiornithes. These animals were small, flying, feathered, and closely related to birds. The authors restricted the term "bird" to refer only to Aves, which they used to mean only modern ("crown group") birds.[1] Gregory S. Paul
Gregory S

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Paleontologist
Paleontology
Paleontology
or palaeontology (/ˌpeɪliɒnˈtɒlədʒi, ˌpæli-, -ən-/) is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene
Holocene
Epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology). Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as the 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier's work on comparative anatomy, and developed rapidly in the 19th century. The term itself originates from Greek παλαιός, palaios, "old, ancient", ὄν, on (gen
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Maniraptora
Metornithes Perle et al., 1993 Maniraptora
Maniraptora
is a clade of coelurosaurian dinosaurs that includes the birds and the non-avian dinosaurs that were more closely related to them than to Ornithomimus velox
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Special
Special
Special
or specials may refer to:Contents1 Music 2 Film and television 3 Other uses 4 See alsoMusic[edit] Special
Special
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Feathered Dinosaurs
For over 150 years, since scientific research began on dinosaurs in the early 1800s, dinosaurs were generally believed to be most closely related to squamata ("scaled reptiles"); the word "dinosaur", coined in 1842 by paleontologist Richard Owen, comes from the Greek for "fearsome lizard". This view began to shift during the so-called dinosaur renaissance in scientific research in the late 1960s, and by the mid-1990s significant evidence had emerged that dinosaurs are much more closely related to birds. In fact, birds are now believed to have descended directly from the theropod group of dinosaurs,[1] and are thus classified as dinosaurs themselves, meaning that any modern bird can in cladistic terms be considered a feathered dinosaur.[2] Among extinct dinosaurs, feathers or feather-like integument have been discovered on dozens of genera via both direct and indirect fossil evidence. The vast majority of feather discoveries have been for coelurosaurian theropods
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Feather
Feathers are epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds and other, extinct species' of dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates[1][2] and a premier example of a complex evolutionary novelty.[3] They are among the characteristics that distinguish the extant birds from other living groups.[4] Although feathers cover most parts of the body of birds, they arise only from certain well-defined tracts on the skin. They aid in flight, thermal insulation, and waterproofing
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Dromaeosauridae
Ornithodesmidae Hooley, 1913 Itemiridae Kurzanov, 1976 Unenlagiidae Agnolin & Novas, 2011 Dromaeosauridae
Dromaeosauridae
is a family of feathered theropod dinosaurs. They were generally small - to medium-sized feathered carnivores that flourished in the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period. The name Dromaeosauridae
Dromaeosauridae
means 'running lizards', from Greek δρομεῦς (dromeus) meaning 'runner' and σαῦρος (sauros) meaning 'lizard'
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Troodontidae
Saurornithoididae Barsbold, 1974 Troodontidae
Troodontidae
is a family of bird-like theropod dinosaurs. During most of the 20th century, troodontid fossils were few and scrappy and they have therefore been allied, at various times, with many dinosaurian lineages. More recent fossil discoveries of complete and articulated specimens (including specimens which preserve feathers, eggs, embryos, and complete juveniles), have helped to increase understanding about this group
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Oviraptorosauria
Caenagnathiformes Sternberg, 1940 Avimimiformes Chatterjee, 1991Oviraptorosaurs ("egg thief lizards") are a group of feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs from the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period of what are now Asia and North America. They are distinct for their characteristically short, beaked, parrot-like skulls, with or without bony crests atop the head. They ranged in size from Caudipteryx, which was the size of a turkey, to the 8 metre long, 1.4 ton Gigantoraptor.[4] The group (along with all maniraptoran dinosaurs) is close to the ancestry of birds. Analyses like those of Maryanska et al (2002) and Osmólska et al
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Gregory S. Paul
Accurate dinosaur restorations Pioneering feathered theropods during " Dinosaur
Dinosaur
Renaissance" Technical/popular books and articles, criticism of religionScientific careerFields Paleontology, Paleoart, Sociology, TheologyInstitutions IndependentInfluences Charles R. Knight, William Scheele, Bill BerryInfluenced Artists during and after the " Dinosaur
Dinosaur
Renaissance"Gregory Scott Paul (born December 24, 1954) is an American freelance researcher, author and illustrator who works in paleontology, and more recently has examined sociology and theology
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Dinosaur
Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs
are a diverse group of reptiles[note 1] of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic
Triassic
period, between 243 and 231 million years ago,[1] although the exact origin and timing of the evolution of dinosaurs is the subject of active research.[2] They became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates after the Triassic– Jurassic
Jurassic
extinction event 201 million years ago; their dominance continued through the Jurassic
Jurassic
and Cretaceous
Cretaceous
periods
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Aves
Birds (Aves) are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. They rank as the world’s most numerically-successful class of tetrapods, with approximately ten thousand living species, more than half of these being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds. Birds have wings which are more or less developed depending on the species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which evolved from forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in flightless birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species of birds
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Enantiornithes
and see text Enantiornithes
Enantiornithes
is a group of extinct avialans ("birds" in the broad sense), the most abundant and diverse group known from the Mesozoic era.[3][4][5] Almost all retained teeth and clawed fingers on each wing, but otherwise looked much like modern birds externally. Over 80 species of enantiornitheans have been named, but some names represent only single bones, so it is likely that not all are valid. Enantiornitheans became extinct at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, along with hesperornithids and all other non-avian dinosaurs
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Sapeornis
Sapeornis
Sapeornis
is a type of avialan which lived during the early Cretaceous period (late Aptian
Aptian
to early Albian, roughly 125-120 mya). The genus Sapeornis
Sapeornis
contains only one species, Sapeornis
Sapeornis
chaoyangensis.Contents1 Description 2 Discovery and history 3 References 4 External linksDescription[edit]Size of S. chaoyangensis compared with a human Sapeornis
Sapeornis
was large for an early avialan, about 30–33 centimetres (0.98–1.08 ft) long in life, excluding the tail feathers. The hand of Sapeornis
Sapeornis
was far more advanced than that of Archaeopteryx. It had three fingers, the outer ones with two and the middle one with three phalanges, and a well-fused carpometacarpus. Its arms were about half again as long as the legs, suggesting a large wing area
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Confuciusornis
Confuciusornis
Confuciusornis
is a genus of primitive crow-sized birds from the Early Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Yixian and Jiufotang Formations of China, dating from 125 to 120 million years ago. Like modern birds, Confuciusornis
Confuciusornis
had a toothless beak, but close relatives of modern birds such as Hesperornis
Hesperornis
and Ichthyornis
Ichthyornis
were toothed, indicating that the loss of teeth occurred convergently in Confuciusornis
Confuciusornis
and living birds. It is the oldest known bird to have a beak.[1] It was named after the Chinese moral philosopher Confucius
Confucius
(551–479 BC)
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Avialae
Avialae
Avialae
("bird wings") is a clade of flying dinosaurs containing their only living representatives, the birds
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