Functional signals in bone microstructure of flying vertebrates, and its importance for the understanding of the origin of powered flight in feathered dinosaurs

01 October 2015 → 30 June 2019
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Animal developmental and reproductive biology
    • Animal morphology, anatomy and physiology
    • Vertebrate biology
    • Biology of adaptation
    • Evolutionary developmental biology
    • Palaeontology
    • Phylogeny and comparative analysis
bird dinosaur flight adaptations evolution bone tissue bone
Project description

Exciting new discoveries of feathered dinosaurs during the last decenia have accumulated and gained more popularity, both among scientists and the broader public. These new fossil finds have put the origin and evolution of flapping flight in new perspectives, including the early four-winged phase and secondary loss of flight performance in several theropod dinosaurs. Locomotion types, as well as insights in biological growth, ontogenetic stages and habitat preferences are all traits that show up in the bone anatomy, from complete bones to bone tissue. This makes bone a huge source of information that could allow us to better understand the evolutionary transition from non-flying theropod dinosaurs to flying birds, as well as flight loss in some birds.