Scientists have concluded that a dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago had drumstick-shaped legs and bird-like arms similar to wings. Using high-powered lasers and fluorescence imaging, scientists have been able to reveal previously unknown details of what the dinosaur may have looked like and are now drawing parallels between this creature from the Jurassic era and modern living birds. The research could also give insights into the origins of flight, which is thought to have evolved more than 150 million years ago.

The research is published in the journal Nature Communications and seems to support previous evidence suggesting that the dinosaur and bird share many common features such as a pneumatic skeleton, a large bony sternum and special rods on the ribs known as “uncinate processes.”

Students wishing to study Biological Sciences or Natural Sciences (Biological) may wish to consider what this discovery shows about the stages of evolution and the changing interaction of primitive forms with their natural environment. Prospective History and Archaeology students could also consider the implications for future enquiries. 

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