Speaker Series 2017: How Did Birds Get Their Wings? Feathered Ornithomimids from Alberta Shed Light on the Origin of Wings

The discovery of the first feathered dinosaurs in 1998 irrevocably changed the perception of the physical appearance of dinosaurs. No longer the scaly reptiles of our imaginations, these animals were covered with feathers similar to birds. Since that first discovery, over 40 different species of dinosaurs are now known to have been covered with feathers and allow us to tackle the question: how did birds get their wings and learn to fly? Three main hypotheses have been proposed over the years to explain the origin of wings, all equally plausible and difficult to prove. However, the recent discovery of feathered ornithomimids in Alberta offers an unexpected alternative to explain why wings first evolved.

In his presentation, Dr. Therrien highlights these ornithomimid discoveries and explores their implications for the study of the evolution of wings.

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