Of the countless creatures living on Earth, most of them get from place to place the same way—by walking. However, a select few have mastered the art of flight, soaring above the rest. Many bird species fly nearly every day, and these creatures are descendants of the Mesozoic beasts we’re so awed by—dinosaurs! But how could these prehistoric reptiles go from scurrying on the ground to gliding through the air? Learn all about how dinosaurs evolved and began to fly.
How Did Dinosaurs Evolve?
Evolution is no overnight process, as it takes hundreds of millions of years. Smaller dinosaur species were able to evolve alongside our changing planet to increase their chances of survival. Most of the beasts that became birds were in the theropods family.
These beasts shrunk through genetic mutation; some species were naturally smaller than average. While massive dinosaurs ruled throughout the Jurassic Period, smaller beasts were more likely to survive as the Mesozoic Era came to a close. A more petite body gave these animals the upper hand as they had options on where to hide or seek shelter.
Moreover, as dinosaurs evolved, their bones would also change to become lighter. Their feathers would adapt to accommodate aerodynamics as the feathery appearance of these beasts didn’t previously allow for flight.
A Bonus of Being Small
Being small also meant these dinosaurs could survive by eating less. This was especially helpful after the asteroid hit since food became quite scarce.
How Did Dinosaurs Learn To Fly?
Now that we’ve discussed how dinosaurs evolved, let’s get into how they began to fly! Although many of the dinosaurs we know and love—such as Velociraptors— had feathers, they couldn’t necessarily fly. However, evolution leads to changes within a species, and as select theropods became smaller, they also learned to fly.
Many scientists suspect that evolving dinosaurs learned to fly by running and leaping or jumping from the trees to glide through the air. Keep in mind that it was not one creature that took daring strides that led to flight within the species. Various species, including the Deinonychus, Rahonavis, and Microraptor, gradually evolved through natural selection.
Dinosaurs that were capable of flight were more likely to survive, which meant they’d breed and pass the gene onto their young. As species evolved, they shrank more and became better at flying. As dinosaur descendants, birds are aviation experts and gracefully glide through the air.
As incredible as birds are, they’re not the same as dinosaurs. Creative Beast Studio sells many dinosaur action figures, including Velociraptor figures. Add one of the original bird ancestors to your home and show your love for these amazing beasts!