9 Sep 2014

How dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards.

From Nine To Noon, 10:10 am on 9 September 2014

Science writer, and editor of Australian Geographic John Pickrell has delved into the latest discoveries and explains why birds are in fact a subspecies of dinosaur.

Microraptor Brian Choo

The four winged Microraptor was a contemporary of Cretaceous-era birds, and is likely to have preyed upon them. Image by palaeoartist Brian Choo.

Birds are a small specialised flight capable form of a dinosaur, a sub group of dinosaurs, which co-existed with dinosaurs but managed to survive the cataclysm 66 million years ago. - John Pickrell.

John Pickrell's book Flying Dinosaurs, How fearsome reptiles became birds looks back on the groundbreaking discovery of a feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 - the Sinosauropteryx

px Sinosauropteryxfossil crop

Sinosauropteryx fossil. Photo supplied.

He says many paleontologists now believe most carnivorous dinosaurs were feathered, including the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Yutyrannus border patrol Brian Choo

A nine metre long early relative of the T-Rex that stalked northern China during the early Cretaceous period - the Ytyrannus had fluffy feathers. Image: Brian Choo.

John Pickrell's book also details attempts by a group of scientists in North America to use a chicken embryo to bring dinosaurs back from the dead.

John Pickrell talks about the latest dinosaur discoveries with Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon.

Angry epidexipteryx Alvaro Rosalen

Angry epidexipteryx. Image by Alvaro Rosalen.