Nowadays most palaeontologists believe that birds developed from small carnivorous dinosaurs. The best contenders for the original form are the Droaeosauridae raptors as they have similar skulls, necks, hips, hind appendages and tails to early birds.
The best known primitive bird is Archaeopteryx lithographica, shown in the picture. It lived during the ages of the dinosaurs about 150 million years ago. Its head and tail were reminiscent of those of dinosaurs, yet its feather covering was bird-like.
[ To the front page | end page ] Picture: Tom Björklund