The Rise of Birds: 225 Million Years of Evolution
Dinosaurs are so popular that we often neglect their flying relatives that are still among us. Birds, the true "living dinosaurs, " deserve considerable respect as successful vertebrates that have evolved, adapted, and survived over a period of 225 million years. The Rise of Birds is the first detailed, illustrated, and comprehensive review of the fossil record of birds in a modern phylogenetic context. Distinguished paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee provides a clear and exciting chronology documenting the long odyssey of birds since Protoavis, which may have taken to the air some 75 million years before the widely known "first bird, " Archaeopteryx. The remains of Protoavis are preserved in a still controversial fossil found by Chatterjee and his students in Texas in 1983. The Rise of Birds discusses the significance of all the many recently discovered bird and possible bird fossils, from Europe to China to Latin America. Chatterjee outlines the varying theories of how animal flight developed, and he explains, in terms of comparative anatomy, what makes a bird a bird. Beautifully illustrated by Michael W. Nickell, this book will be of interest to a broad range of readers, including vertebrate paleontologists, ornithologists, and amateur naturalists, including birders.
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adaptation airfoil angle animals arboreal Archaeopteryx archosaurs ascending process astragalus avian flight biceps tubercle bipedal body bones bony brain braincase calcaneum canal caudal ceratosaurs Chatterjee cladistic cladogram claws climbing cnemial crest coelurosaurs condyle coracoid cranial Crater Deccan dinosaurs distal carpal Dockum dorsal dromaeosaurs early birds Early Cretaceous eggs elongated enantiornithine evolution evolutionary evolved extinction femur fenestra FIGURE flapping flightless birds flying foramen forelimbs fossil record furcula fused glenoid gliding groups hindlimbs humerus ilium impact ischium jugal Jurassic keel KT boundary Late Cretaceous lateral view mammals Mesozoic Mesozoic birds metacarpal metatarsal modern birds node nonavian dinosaurs nonavian theropods orbit Ostrom pelvis phylogenetic postorbital premaxilla primitive proavians Protoavis proximal pterosaurs pterygoid pubis quadrate ratites rostral Shiva Crater shoulder girdle shows Sinornis skeleton skull specimen squamosal stage sternum Stratigraphic range swivel wrist joint tail taxa temporal opening theropods tibia tion tree Triassic trochanter ventral vertebrae volcanic wing