Up and away

2019-03-07 03:03:01

CHINESE palaeontologists have found a downy dinosaur that could flap its long front limbs like a bird. The discovery implies that the first birds evolved from fast-running two-legged predators called theropods. The key evidence lies in the sturdy shoulders of the new discovery, Sinornithosaurus, says Xiao-Chun Wu of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology in Beijing. “[The joint] allows the arm to go up and down for flapping. From this point we can easily go to a flying animal,” says Wu. Other feathered fossils have shoulders built for moving the limbs back and forth. Wu reports the find in Nature (vol 401,