How birds may have escaped the dino-killing asteroid impact | Science News

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How birds may have escaped the dino-killing asteroid impact

New study explores what let some flying dinos survive what was almost the end of their world

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5:44pm, May 24, 2018
illustration of bird

RUN, BIRD, RUN  Birds most likely to have survived a mass extinction 66 million years ago would have been small (as seen in this artist’s depiction), able to fly and just fine living on the ground, researchers say.

Nothing against trees. But maybe it’s better not to get too dependent on them if you want to survive a big flaming space object crashing into Earth.

The asteroid impact that caused a mass extinction 66 million years probably also triggered the collapse of forests worldwide, a new investigation of the plant fossil record concludes. Needing trees and extensive plant cover for nesting or food could have been a fatal drawback for winged dinosaurs, including some ancient birds. Reconstructing the ecology of ancient birds suggests that modern fowl descended from species that survived because they could live on the ground, an international research team proposes in the June 4 Current Biology.

“You probably would have died anyway regardless of habitat,” says study coauthor Daniel Field, an evolutionary paleobiologist at the University of Bath in England. “But if you could get along on the

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