What should our attitude be when we hear of the latest discovery that supposedly ‘proves’ evolution is true?
Discuss the cursorial and arboreal ideas about the evolution of birds. What are the main problems of each?
Summarize the basic differences between reptiles and birds.
How are feathers different from scales?
See Q&A: Dinosaurs for additional information. Archaeopteryx had fully formed flying feathers, the classical elliptical wings of modern woodland birds, and a large wishbone for attachment of muscles responsible for the downstroke of the wings. Its brain was essentially that of a flying bird (large cerebellum and visual cortex). Like other birds, its upper jaw and lower jaw moved. In most vertebrates (including reptiles) only the mandible moves.
We should wait until we are able to read the actual report, and then separate what was actually found from the interpretations imposed on the findings.
Formulate your own response—see pages 62-63.
See pages 63-68. Flying birds have:
streamlined bodies with the weight centralized for balance in flight
hollow bones for lightness which are part of their breathing system
powerful muscles for flight with specially designed long tendons that run over pulley-like openings in the shoulder bones
very sharp vision
DNA information that codes for feathers
feather proteins that are biochemically different from skin and scale proteins
DNA information that codes for scales but not for feathers
skin and scale proteins that are biochemically different from feather proteins
See pages 64-66.
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