Why are Birds Considered Dinosaurs?
Start writing a post

Why are Birds Considered Dinosaurs?

It seems pretty stupid for a T. Rex and a Pigeon to be related!

Why are Birds Considered Dinosaurs?

I apologize in advance for anyone who wasn't aware that birds are technically dinosaurs. But then again most of us who have heard this little fact somewhere haven't ever really bothered to digest enough to consider why birds are classified as dinosaurs. Although, to be fair, it really isn't something very important to daily life.

Before I get into the technical side, I'd also like to force you to consider the implication of birds being related to dinosaurs: birds are reptiles. Yes, birds are under the same classification as one of those little geckos. They aren't in a separate classification like mammals.

Enough of that though, so why are birds considered dinosaurs? To start as confusingly as possible, there are two types of dinosaurs: Sauriscian("lizard-hipped") and Ornithiscian("bird-hipped").

Saurischian(Lizard) Hip upload.wikimedia.org

Ornithischian(Bird) Hip upload.wikimedia.org

Here is where you are supposed to think that the bird hip is a... a bird hip? Well sorry but science sucks and that is actually wrong. As it turns out birds are descended from the lizard hip dinosaurs and the bird hip dinosaurs are all extinct. The reason behind that is a whole other story so just take my word for it.

So birds have a lizard hip, what does that mean? Well that means they are directly descended from such fan-favorites as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptor. Velociraptor even had feathers on its arms and legs and some evidence suggests T. Rex babies may have had downy feathers.

The Velociraptor is in the group most closely connected to birds, the Maniraptors. These include a few other examples but they are all bipedal carnivores with feathers and long tails. Eventually though we get to Archaeopteryx, the first known bird. Although this fellow is missing several characteristics universal to modern bird.

Archaeopteryx chasing down prey. upload.wikimedia.org

The major distinctions that make this "bird" seem off is the presence of teeth and a tail. Birds have a much more clearly defined beak without any teeth, but Archaeopteryx doesn't really have a beak like modern birds do. However this difference isn't too distinct, or at least as distinct as you might think.

There is actually evidence that it only takes a minor mutation for a bird, like a chicken, to gain teeth in its beak. If you want to learn more about that check out this article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mutant-chicken-grows-alli/.

And for Archaeopteryx's tail, well that clearly needed to disappear, but some modern birds have tails. The roadrunner for example actually has a tail and still functions perfectly well.


Although tails are not very effective for flying which is why both the roadrunner and Archaeopteryx are poor fliers. But with enough time, Archaeopteryx's ancestors would have lost their tails to fly more efficiently and would have gained a more defined V-shaped wishbone which allows for modern birds' flapping motion.

So there you have it. Birds are dinosaurs because later dinosaurs were the ones to develop the characteristics that are present in birds today. And of course, birds are reptiles too. Thanks for reading!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Nothing! There is no reason to feel guilty about food and nourishing your body. It's time to make peace with food and stop focusing on the "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong" because food does not have power over you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down With An Endocrinologist To Ask All My Questions About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

There are so many moving parts of hormonal health, so I went to an expert.

Anjanette Tan

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1 in 10 women. Any woman who has PCOS can attest to the fact that no two cases are the same — there are so many aspects of hormonal health that can impact a woman's reproductive health! For many, PCOS is a trial and error condition, with many doctors' appointments depending on the stage of life the woman is in.

This week I sat down with Dr. Anjanette Tan to get the expert opinion on all my PCOS questions. Dr. Tan is a board-certified endocrinology who's worked in private practices since 2004. She currently works at the Diabetes and Thyroid Center of Fort Worth, one of the largest all-endocrine practices in the area, where she is the managing partner and head of clinical research.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Since I can remember, I've always been a light sleeper, with the quietest sounds waking me up, and I regularly wake up with the sun.

- While talking to a gynecologist friend of mine, she mentioned the importance of using an eye mask for quality sleep, which regulates hormonal levels.

- I was serendipitously sent the Crane & Canopy Silk Sleep Mask almost right after that conversation and was honestly reluctant to try it after testing other sleep masks that felt uncomfortable and irritated my skin.

- This sleep mask was extremely comfortable, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I slept in far past when I usually do on the weekends and woke up feeling more refreshed than I can remember — I've worn it nearly every night since then.

The older I get, it seems that sleep becomes an increasingly important topic of conversation amongst my friends and me. Yes, of course we complain about how tired we always are, but the pattern seemed to be a lack of sleep on the weekdays followed by late nights and sleeping in on the weekends without any solution.

Keep Reading... Show less

As college students, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Four tests in a week and you only passed one of them? I feel that. Days like that, you just need time for yourself. A time where you're nice to yourself and put your own self-care before anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Smile Project Just Launched An Ambassador Program, And I Can't Wait To Get Started

Looking to shift your perspective, be happier, or just get involved in something truly amazing? Look no further.


The Smile Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading happiness, founded by Elizabeth Buechele. It all started on a random day in the fall of her senior year. She was driving home from school when this thought crossed her mind: "Day 1: Happiness is…those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs."

Keep Reading... Show less

I'll never forget the day that someone told me these words: "Madison, I think you're a good friend to everyone but yourself." I stood there completely in awe of that statement. Before that day, I never really thought about being a friend to myself, and at the time, I didn't really know what it meant. Now, I realize that you can't fully be there for other people unless you're there for yourself, too. You can't show up for others until you're willing to show up for yourself.

Here are five things everyone should learn in order to be a better friend to themselves. These steps are hard, but they're so worth it.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's no secret that social media can be harmful to our mental health. The barrage of heavily edited photos of Instagram models that we see every day only fuels our insecurities. There is a good side to social media, though. It allows us to keep up with friends and family across the globe. Plus, it provides a platform for mental health experts. Listed below are five therapists on Instagram who will fill your feed with motivational quotes and positive infographics.

Keep Reading... Show less

Last week, Netflix released its original film "The Devil All the Time," based on the 2011 novel of the same name. Directed by Antonio Campos, the film boasts an all-star cast including Bill Skarsgard, Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough, and Tom Holland.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

In Honor of PCOS Awareness Month, I Researched 25 Things About The Autoimmune Disease

Ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms!


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affects young women, especially those of reproductive age. Women with PCOS often exhibit symptoms ranging from increased levels of the male hormone androgen along with cysts in their ovaries. However, ongoing research is further promoting the fact that engaging in a proper diet and exercise regimen can alleviate many symptoms! Here are 25 things I found out about PCOS.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

To The Boy Who Said I Was 'Unlovable' Because Of My Back Rolls, My Body Is NOT A Problem

I realized I need to stop blaming myself for staying single. The problem wasn't me. It was you.

Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

I told you I was going to be okay if you said what was on your mind, but honestly, nothing could've prepared me for the words that came out of your mouth. After getting off of the phone with you, I burst into tears. Those words shattered my heart and continuously repeated in my head.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments