News of the WeekPaleontology

Four-Winged Dinos Create a Flutter

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Science  24 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5606, pp. 491
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5606.491a

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Aerodynamic feathers have turned up where paleontologists least expected them: on the hind limbs of small predatory dinosaurs. The birdlike plumes, discovered in half a dozen fossils from China, surprised paleontologists who believe that flight evolved in running dinosaurs that flapped their arms. Instead, the scientists who studied the finds say, the new specimens suggest that avian flight originated in small dinosaurs that glided from trees.