An integrative approach to understanding bird origins

Published on Dec 12, 2014in Science 41.06
· DOI :10.1126/science.1253293
Xing Xu39
Estimated H-index: 39
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Robert Dudley17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of California, Berkeley)
+ 4 AuthorsDavid J. Varricchio26
Estimated H-index: 26
(Montana State University)
Abstract
Research on the origin and evolution of birds has gathered pace in recent years, aided by a continuous stream of new fossil finds as well as molecular phylogenies. Bird origins, in particular, are now better understood than those of mammals, for which the early fossil record is relatively poor compared with that of birds. Xu et al. review progress in tracing the origins of birds from theropod dinosaurs, focusing especially on recent fossil finds of feathered dinosaurs of northeastern China. They integrate current research on developmental biology and functional anatomy with the paleontological record, to show how key features of birds—feathers, wings, and flight—originated and evolved, and radiated from their dinosaur forebears. Science , this issue [10.1126/science.1253293][1] [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.1253293
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References126
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Neil H. Shubin36
Estimated H-index: 36
(Harvard University),
Pere Alberch24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Harvard University)
Two complementary approaches underlie the study of evolutionary morphology—one a direct result of the Darwinian revolution, the other with roots that can be traced back to pre-Darwinian times. The former focuses on the issue of diversity and the origin of adaptation. Morphological change is depicted as a chronological progression of various combinations of adaptations and preadaptations (e.g., Bock, 1977). To define a morphological adaptation one has to focus on the relationships between form an...
471 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 1998in Nature 41.58
Ji Qiang10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Geological Museum of China),
Philip J. Currie45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Royal Tyrrell Museum)
+ 1 AuthorsJi Shu-an2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Royal Tyrrell Museum)
Current controversy over the origin and early evolution of birds centres on whether or not they are derived from coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs. Here we describe two theropods from the Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous Chaomidianzi Formation of Liaoning province, China. Although both theropods have feathers, It Is likely that neither was able to fly. Phylogenetic analysis Indicates that they are both more primitive than the earliest known avlalan (bird), Archaeopteryx. These new fossils represe...
402 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1998in Nature 41.58
Pei-ji Chen1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Academia Sinica),
Zhiming Dong12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Academia Sinica),
Shuo-nan Zhen1
Estimated H-index: 1
(American Museum of Natural History)
Two spectacular fossilized dinosaur skeletons were recently discovered in Liaoning in northeastern China. Here we describe the two nearly complete skeletons of a small theropod that represent a species closely related to Compsognathus. Sinosauropteryx has the longest tail of any known theropod, and a three-fingered hand dominated by the first finger, which is longer and thicker than either of the bones of the forearm. Both specimens have interesting integumentary structures that could provide in...
468 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2010in Nature 41.58
Xing Xu39
Estimated H-index: 39
,
Xiaoting Zheng14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Hai-Lu You17
Estimated H-index: 17
Study of two specimens of the feathered dinosaur Similicaudipteryx shows that the morphology of dinosaur feathers changed dramatically as the animals matured. Moreover, the morphology of feathers in dinosaurs was much more varied than one would expect from looking at feathers in modern birds.
89 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 15, 2013in Science 41.06
Xiaoting Zheng14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Linyi University),
Zhonghe(周忠和) Zhou1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 6 AuthorsXing(徐星) Xu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Linyi University)
Recent discoveries of large leg feathers in some theropods have implications for our understanding of the evolution of integumentary features on the avialan leg, and particularly of their relevance for the origin of avialan flight. Here we report 11 basal avialan specimens that will greatly improve our knowledge of leg integumentary features among early birds. In particular, they provide solid evidence for the existence of enlarged leg feathers on a variety of basal birds, suggest that extensive...
54 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2005in Nature 41.58
Patrick M. O'Connor23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine),
Leon P. A. M. Claessens6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Harvard University)
Birds are unique among living vertebrates in possessing pneumaticity of the postcranial skeleton, with invasion of bone by the pulmonary air-sac system 1–4 . The avian respiratory system includes high-compliance air sacs that ventilate a dorsally fixed, non-expanding parabronchial lung 2,3,5,6 . Caudally positioned abdominal and thoracic air sacs are critical components of the avian aspiration pump, facilitating flow-through ventilation of the lung and near-constant airflow during both inspirati...
124 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2013in Nature 41.58
Merijn A. G. de Bakker10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Donald A. Fowler1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 6 AuthorsMichael K. Richardson44
Estimated H-index: 44
Research on the Nile crocodile and five birds shows that limb evolution is shaped by an interplay between natural selection and developmental constraints, the outcome varying between different digits, and between embryos and adults.
36 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2010in Nature 41.58
Fucheng Zhang31
Estimated H-index: 31
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Stuart L. Kearns16
Estimated H-index: 16
+ 5 AuthorsXiaolin Wang30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Here the presence of melanosomes — characteristic bodies that give feathers their colour — is demonstrated in feathers and feather-like structures of fossil early birds and dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of China. Not only is it shown that the feather–like structures of dinosaurs such as Sinosauropteryx really are akin to feathers, it is also possible to speculate in an informed way about their colour.
137 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 1, 2015in Scientific Reports 4.12
Alison E. Moyer6
Estimated H-index: 6
,
Wenxia Zheng9
Estimated H-index: 9
+ 4 AuthorsMary H. Schweitzer23
Estimated H-index: 23
Melanosomes or Microbes: Testing an Alternative Hypothesis for the Origin of Microbodies in Fossil Feathers
38 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2012in Nature 41.58
Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Harvard University),
Jesús Marugán-Lobón14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Autonomous University of Madrid)
+ 4 AuthorsArkhat Abzhanov6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Harvard University)
The bird skull arose from the nonavian dinosaur skull by several episodes of paedomorphosis, in which descendants resemble the juveniles of their ancestors, according to a study of shape change during dinosaur ontogeny and phylogeny.
88 Citations Source Cite
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Cited By90
Published on Oct 1, 2015in Journal of Ornithology 1.95
Robert H. S. Kraus16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Max Planck Society),
Michael Wink64
Estimated H-index: 64
(Heidelberg University)
Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provide great resources to study bird evolution and avian functional genomics. They also allow for the identification of suitable high-resolution markers for detailed analyses of the phylogeography of a species or the connectivity of migrating birds between breeding and wintering populations. This review discusses the application of DNA markers for the study of systematics and phylogeny, but also population genetics and phylogeography. Emphasis in th...
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Published on Jul 1, 2015in Journal of Investigative Dermatology 6.45
Cathleen Tsz Ka Chiu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Southern California),
Cheng-Ming Chuong60
Estimated H-index: 60
Through cyclic regeneration, feather stem cells are molded into different shapes under different physiological states. With its distinct morphology, context-dependent growth, and experimental manipulability, the feather provides a rich model to study growth control, regeneration, and morphogenesis in vivo. Recent examples include novel insights revealed by transient perturbation with chemotherapeutic reagents and irradiation during feather growth.
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Published on Dec 1, 2015in BMC Evolutionary Biology 3.03
Bettina Strasser5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Medical University of Vienna),
Veronika Mlitz16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Medical University of Vienna)
+ 2 AuthorsLeopold Eckhart28
Estimated H-index: 28
(Medical University of Vienna)
Background Feathers and hair consist of cornified epidermal keratinocytes in which proteins are crosslinked via disulfide bonds between cysteine residues of structural proteins to establish mechanical resilience. Cysteine-rich keratin-associated proteins (KRTAPs) are important components of hair whereas the molecular components of feathers have remained incompletely known. Recently, we have identified a chicken gene, named epidermal differentiation cysteine-rich protein (EDCRP), that encodes a p...
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Published on Dec 1, 2015in BMC Genomics 3.73
Chen Siang Ng8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Academia Sinica),
Chih-Kuan Chen5
Estimated H-index: 5
(National Taiwan University)
+ 14 AuthorsDi-Rong Chen3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Academia Sinica)
Feathers have diverse forms with hierarchical branching patterns and are an excellent model for studying the development and evolution of morphological traits. The complex structure of feathers allows for various types of morphological changes to occur. The genetic basis of the structural differences between different parts of a feather and between different types of feather is a fundamental question in the study of feather diversity, yet there is only limited relevant information for gene expre...
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Published on Oct 1, 2015in Current Biology 9.25
Stephen L. Brusatte32
Estimated H-index: 32
(University of Edinburgh),
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Erich D. Jarvis49
Estimated H-index: 49
(Duke University)
Birds are one of the most recognizable and diverse groups of modern vertebrates. Over the past two decades, a wealth of new fossil discoveries and phylogenetic and macroevolutionary studies has transformed our understanding of how birds originated and became so successful. Birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic (around 165–150 million years ago) and their classic small, lightweight, feathered, and winged body plan was pieced together gradually over tens of millions of years of...
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Published on Jan 1, 2015in Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews
Muhammad A. J. Qadri5
Estimated H-index: 5
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Robert G. Cook30
Estimated H-index: 30
The comparative analysis of visual cognition across classes of animals yields important information regarding underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms involved with this foundational aspect of behavior. Birds, and pigeons specifically, have been an important source and model for this comparison, especially in relation to mammals. During these investigations, an extensive number of experiments have found divergent results in how pigeons and humans process visual information. Four areas of these...
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Published on Feb 24, 2015in Frontiers in Neuroscience 3.88
Tadashi Nomura27
Estimated H-index: 27
(Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine),
Wataru Yamashita2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Kyoto University)
+ 1 AuthorsKatsuhiko Ono16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine)
The mammalian neocortex is a remarkable structure that is characterized by tangential surface expansion and six-layered lamination. However, how the mammalian neocortex emerged during evolution remains elusive. Because all modern reptiles have a homolog of the neocortex at the dorsal pallium, developmental analyses of the reptilian cortex are valuable to explore the origin of the neocortex. However, reptilian cortical development and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear, mainly due...
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Published on Mar 1, 2015in Emu 1.07
Leo Joseph28
Estimated H-index: 28
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Katherine L. Buchanan30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Deakin University)
Friday 12 December 2014 was a red-letter day in the history of ornithology. It saw simultaneous publication of some 27 papers in eight journals, based on a singularly far-reaching and exciting avian dataset: genomic data from 48 species of birds from 32 of the 35 recently proposed avian orders, chosen to span the evolutionary diversity of the class Aves (Zhang et al. 2014a, 2014b, 2014c; Jarvis et al. 2014a, 2014b). The body of work, representing output from more than 200 researchers working in ...
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Estimated H-index: 57
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Estimated H-index: 43
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Estimated H-index: 1
Ticks are important vectors of emerging zoonotic diseases affecting human and animal health worldwide. Ticks are often found on wild birds, which have been long recognized as a potential risk factor for dissemination of ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBP), thus raising societal concerns and prompting research into their biology and ecology. To fully understand the role of birds in disseminating some ticks species and TBP, it is important to consider the evolutionary relationships between birds,...
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Published on Oct 1, 2015in Current Biology 9.25
Douglas H. Erwin46
Estimated H-index: 46
(National Museum of Natural History)
The history of life as documented by the fossil record encompasses evolutionary diversifications at scales ranging from the Ediacaran–Cambrian explosion of animal life and the invasion of land by vascular plants, insects and vertebrates to the diversification of flowering plants over the past 100 million years and the radiation of horses. Morphological novelty and innovation has been a recurrent theme. The architects of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory made three claims about evolutio...
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