Discovering a Jurassic Highflyer

Fossils of a four-winged species of dinosaur discovered in northeastern China have provided surprising new evidence on the evolution of birds, a group of Chinese paleontologists reported in the journal Nature this month. The dinosaur, given the name Microraptor gui, appears to have used its feathers to glide from tree to tree, much like a flying squirrel. Its gliding motion supports the theory that birds, which are believed to have evolved from dinosaurs, took their first flight from the trees down, not from the ground up, as a competing theory maintains. Microraptor gui was relatively small--about 3 ft. long from head...

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