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The dinosaur ankle re-evolved amphibian-like development in birds


ScienceDaily

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In the 19th century, Darwin's most vocal scientific advocate was Thomas Henry Huxley, who is also remembered as a pioneer of the hypotheses that birds are living dinosaurs. He noticed several similarities of the skeleton of living birds and extinct dinosaurs, among them, a pointed portion of the anklebone projecting upwards onto the shank bone (aka drumstick). This "ascending process" is well known to specialists as a unique trait of dinosaurs. However, until the late 20th century, many scientists were doubtful about the dinosaur-bird link. Some pointed out that the ascending process in most birds was a projection of the neighbouring heel bone, rather than the anklebone. If so, it would not be comparable, and would not support the dinosaur-bird link. iSeTm2U2Q9w

 

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