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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Fossils and the evolution of flight in dinosaurs Seminar

14 May 2012
Building 44, Seminar room 1057 (L/T B)

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Beatrice Murphy on 023 8059 5374 or email .

Event details

The evolution of flapping flight in dinosaurs has been much debated for more than a hundred years, as it is now clear that birds are a lineage of small-bodied theropods. Dr Gareth Dyke will discuss recent fossil discoveries that complicate our understanding of what constitutes 'a bird' and that provide a plethora of new anatomical features to our knowledge of the early stages of flight evolution in this lineage.

Repeated experimentation with different flight styles within theropod dinosaurs appears to have led to the appearance of flapping in at least one lineage - birds - but evidence for this transition has been very hard to interpret and extremely controversial. A comparative framework - biomechanical studies of living birds, their feathers and skeletons - allows reconstruction of the likely capabilities of fossil forms and can constrain scenarios for dinosaur flight evolution.


Vertebrate Palaeontology

Speaker information

Dr Gareth Dyke,Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Palaeontology

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