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Feathered Dragons: Studies on the Transition from Dinosaurs to Birds

Series: Life of the Past

By: Philip J Currie(Editor), Eva B Kopplehus(Editor), Martin A Shugart(Editor), Joanna L Wright(Editor)

361 pages, 134 b/w photos, 10 colour illustrations

Indiana University Press

Hardback | Dec 2004 | #142093 | ISBN: 0253343739
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £37.99 $49/€43 approx

About this book

Meat-eating theropod dinosaurs have been recognized as potential ancestors of birds since the 19th century, but it was not until the 1960s that work on Deinonychus revealed the startling similarities between dinosaurs and birds. With each new small theropod find the ties became stronger, until the discovery of Sinosauropteryx – a dinosaur with feathers! Though not all scientists accept the concept of birds' being phylogenetically nested within the Dinosauria, others are now focusing on the evolution of feathers and avian flight. Feathered Dragons presents 15 new pieces of research, including the first detailed description of Bambiraptor, a remarkable new specimen from Montana.

"[...] a superb overview of the past decade's discoveries of feathered dinosaurs. It has 23 international experts essaying how dino-birds evolved, their relationship to true birds and the evolution of feathers and flight. It's great stuff, technical in places but well illustrated and with some excellent writing [...]"
New Scientist, 14 August 2004


Introduction: Dinosaurs Acting Like Birds, and Vice Versa - Robert T. Bakker

Section I. The Setting
1. The Dinosaurian Setting of Primitive Asian Birds - Dale A. Russell
2. End-Cretaceous Acid Rain as a Selective Extinction Mechanism Between Birds and Dinosaurs - Gregory J. Retallack

Section II. Osteology and Ichnology
3. New information on Bambiraptor feinbergi (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Montana - David Burnham
4. A New Dromaeosaurid from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta, Canada - Philip J. Currie and David J. Varricchio
5. The Braincase of Velociraptor - Mark A. Norell, Peter J. Makovicky and James M. Clark
6. A Theropod (Dromaeosauridae, Dinosauria) Sternal Plate from the Dinosaur Park Formation (Campanian, Upper Cretaceous) of Alberta, Canada - Stephen J. Godfrey and Philip J. Currie
7. Avian traits in the ilium of Unenlagia comahuensis (Maniraptora: Avialae) - Fernando E. Novas
8. Bird-Like Features of Dinosaur Footprints - Joanna L. Wright

Section III. Eggs, Nests, Feathers and Flight
9. Dinosaur Eggs and Nesting: Implications for Understanding the Origin of Birds - Gerald Grellet-Tinner and Luis M. Chiappe
10. Two Eggs Sunny-Side Up: Reproductive Physiology in the Dinosaur Troodon formosus - David J. Varricchio and Frankie K. Jackson
11. Dinosaur Brooding Behaviour and the Origin of Flight Feathers - Thomas P. Hopp and Mark J. Orsen
12. Feathered Coelurosaurs from China: New Light on the Arboreal Origin of Avian Flight - Sankar Chatterjee and R. J. Templin
13. The Plumage of Archaeopteryx - Feathers of a Dinosaur? - Peter Wellnhofer
14. Dinosaur Crime-Scene Investigations: Theropod Behavior at Como Bluff, Wyoming, and the Evolution of Birdness - Robert T. Bakker and Gary Bir


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Philip J. Currie is Curator of Dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

Eva B. Koppelhus is a palynologist and Adjunct Research Scientist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

Martin A. Shugar, M.D., F.A.C.S., was director of the Florida Institute of Paleontology at the Graves Museum of Archaeology and Natural History.

Joanna L. Wright is Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of Colorado at Denver and Associate Director, CU-MWC Fossil Footprint Collection.

- Robert T. Bakker
- David Burnham
- Sankar Chatterjee
- Luis M. Chiappe
- James M. Clark
- Philip J. Currie
- Stephen J. Godfrey
- Gerald Grellet-Turner
- Thomas P. Hopp
- Frankie K. Jackson
- Peter J. Makovicky
- Mark A. Norell
- Fernando E. Novas
- Mark J. Orsen
- Gregory J. Retallack
- Dale A. Russell
- R. J. Templin
- David J. Varricchio
- Peter Wellnhofer
- Joanna L. Wright

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