Forget bird-brained | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Forget bird-brained

Fossil find uncovers new species of meat-eating dinosaur that had birdlike lungs

6:31pm, September 29, 2008
Paleontologists have discovered a new species of carnivorous dinosaur that possessed an interesting feature: It breathed like a bird.

Unlike mammals, birds have evolved a highly efficient system of breathing in which multiple bellows, or air sacs, in the rib cage push oxygen-rich air through a fixed lung.

The fossils from this new dinosaur — called Aerosteon riocoloradensis, which means air bones from the Río Colorado, the Argentine river near where they were found — show characteristically avian features, including air-filled bones in the rib cage that show the hallmark imprints of air sacs, the team reports online September 30 in PLoS ONE.

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content