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Dinosaurs Take Flight

Archaeopteryx is no longer the only link between dinos and birds:

Several ancient dinosaurs evolved the brainpower needed for flight long before they could take to the skies, scientists say.

Non-avian dinosaurs were found to have “bird brains”, larger than that of Archaeopteryx, a 150 million-year-old bird-like dinosaur.

Once regarded as a unique transition between dinosaurs and birds, scientists say Archaeopteryx has now lost its pivotal place.

The study is published in Nature.

A recent discovery in China which unveiled the earliest creature yet discovered on the evolutionary line to birds, also placed Archaeopteryx in less of a transitional evolutionary place.

Bird brains tend to be more enlarged compared to their body size than reptiles, vital for providing the vision and coordination needed for flight.

Creatures with more traditional lizard-type brains can still be found in Washington.