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Still Waters

Two bird-sized dinosaurs struggled to fly

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Still Waters

Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, researchers report October 22 in the journal iScience. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved.

"Once birds got into the air, these two species were so poorly capable of being in the air that they just got squeezed out," says first author Thomas Dececchi, Assistant Professor of Biology at Mount Marty University. "Maybe you can survive a few million years underperforming, but you have predators from the top, competition from the bottom, and even some small mammals adding into that, squeezing them out until they disappeared."

https://phys.org/news/2020-10-bird-sized-dinosaurs-evolved-ability-glide.html

https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(20)30766-5

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