Tyrannosaurus rex, Apatosaurus and the other dinosaur giants capture the popular imagination. But paleontologists often focus on smaller fry - especially with regard to the origin of birds, which are believed to have evolved from petite, predatory dinosaurs. Researchers describe one such specimen — the partial skeleton of a previously unknown genus of chicken-size dinosaur that roamed Chinas Liaoning province nearly 130 million years ago — today in the journal Nature. According to the report, the novel beast belongs to the troodontid family of dinosaurs and suggests that certain birdlike features arose far earlier than scientists had suspected.
Image: ©Michael Skrepnick/ Courtesy of the Field Museum
Dubbed Sinovenator changii, the new fossil comes from the same region that last year yielded the spectacularly complete remains of a feathered dinosaur. According to team member Peter Mackovicky of Chicagos Field Museum, Sinovenator — a close relative of the similarly aged bird Archaeopteryx — probably had feathers, too, although none are preserved in this specimen. The oldest and most primitive troodontid yet found, Sinovenator exhibits several features — its small size, for example —that do not appear in later troodontids but do appear in dromaeosaurids (close relatives of birds) and birds themselves. Troodontids, the researchers say, eventually lost these characteristics as they became bigger.
"It demonstrates that major structural modifications toward birds occurred much earlier in the evolutionary process than previously thought," Mackovicky asserts. "Furthermore, these findings help counter, once and for all, the position of paleontologists who argue that birds did not evolve from dinosaurs."
Kate Wong | Scientific American
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences