Down-Covered Dinosaur

A fabulously preserved fossil from China all but proves that dinos and birds are the closest of kin

The once radical notion that birds descended from dinosaurs--or may even be dinosaurs, the only living branch of the family that ruled the earth eons ago--has got stronger and stronger since paleontologists first started taking it seriously a couple of decades ago. Remarkable similarities in bone structure between dinos and birds were the first clue. Then came evidence, thanks to a series of astonishing discoveries in China's Liaoning province over the past five years, that some dinosaurs may have borne feathers. But a few scientists still argued that the link was weak; the bone similarities could be a coincidence, they said....

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