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News Archive
News Archive - September 2008
 
"Air-Sacs and Hollows: Just like a Bird"
Date: Monday, September 29, 2008 - 22:51 PM (Eastern Time)
Author: Tyrannosaur

We're all familiar with those words that Dr. Grant spoke so long ago, but now we're really starting to see evidence.

Perhaps one of the most unique forms of breathing, birds use a highly specialized system of pumping air into their lungs.

Unlike mammalian breathing where the lungs themselves grow and shrink to move air in and out, birds use a system of pumps to move the air in and out of their fortified lungs.

Until now, only hints of such structures were found in Velociraptors, Tyrannosaurs, and even certain sauropods, but now conclusive evidence, linking the evolution of this unique breathing system has been found in an 85 million year old specimen.

Aerosteon riocoloradensis, a small T-rex like carnivore, has brought fourth conclusive evidence, showing the tell-tale signs of the air sacs system within its bones.

Various reasons for the system are believed from such understandable things for dinosaurs such as helping to regulate body temperature to even lightening their massive load while maintaining integrity. Birds, on the other hand, benefit most from this adaptation in their ability to fly.

The gap between birds and dinosaurs slowly shrinks.

Our understanding of genetics has brought fourth some interesting discoveries as well such as the realization that feathers and scales are triggered by the same gene and that all bird embryo's have the same number of tale vertebre as some of the last therapods but loose them during development.

You can read more about the article here.







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