Relative of Velociraptor rewrites evolutionary charts
Photo by Peter Makovicky, Courtesy of The Field Museum
CHICAGO--The recent discovery of a 90-million-year-old dinosaur in Patagonia demonstrates that dromaeosaurs, a group of carnivorous theropods that includes Velociraptor and is closely related to birds, originated much earlier than previously thought. Rather than originating during the Cretaceous, dromaeosaurs can now be traced back to the Jurassic, possibly as far back as 180 million years ago. Meanwhile, the new dinosaur's birdlike features--its huge, hollow wishbone; long, winglike forelimbs; and bird-like pelvis--provide more evidence linking dinosaurs to birds.
© 2005 The Field Museum, Photo by John Weinstein