Theropod Diversity and the Refinement of Avian Characteristics

Peter J. Makovicky, Lindsay E. Zanno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

44 Scopus citations
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLiving Dinosaurs
Subtitle of host publicationThe Evolutionary History of Modern Birds
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780470656662
StatePublished - Apr 20 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Archaeopteryx, and discovery of first specimens - evidence of avian evolution in fossil record, focal point for research
  • Birds within the Saurischia, or "lizard-hipped" branch of dinosaur diversity - than the Ornithischia, the "bird-hipped" branch
  • Birds, representing the most speciose - widespread clade of amniotes, unique locomotory and physiological adaptations
  • Cladistic methodology, establishing - testing proposing evolutionary relationships, conceptual framework for deciphering origin and evolutionary history of birds
  • Deep evolutionary history of modern birds
  • Dinosaurian heritage of birds, that birds are archosaurs - closest living relatives to crocodilians
  • Evolutionary trend toward increased brain sizes - continuing within avian lineage, modern birds with larger encephalization quotient (EQ) values than nonavian theropods
  • Huxley (1868), evolutionary relationships - between birds and nonavian theropods, shared traits, as three principal weight-bearing toes in the foot
  • Theropod diversity - and refinement of avian characteristics
  • Theropods, exclusive of basal coelophysoid radiation - the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, into two major lineages, Ceratosauria and Tetanurae

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