The Evolutionary History of Avian Dinosaurs and Their Relation to Prehistoric Theropods.

Evolution is the uniting feature of every organism on Earth. The study of it is essential to understanding not only how modern organisms got here, but how evolutionary relations to other organisms affect the current ecology of Earth. Birds live on as the only living dinosaurs, so studying their survival and adaptations can give us better insights into the lives of ancient creatures and the ecology of historic Earth. This paper aims to demystify the evolutionary course of modern birds and firmly establish their evolutionary ties to theropod dinosaurs. In order to do this, texts such as Dinosaurs! (Scientific America), A Dinosaur Primer (Gene Kritsky), The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs (Steve Brusatte), and Dinosaurs Rediscovered (Thames and Hudson) will be thoroughly analyzed and their findings will be summarized in accompaniment with phylogenetic trees personally created using the Mesquite program. These trees clearly relate the morphological features found in modern birds, fossilized avians, and theropod dinosaurs into a sequence of evolutionary correlation that reflects the evolutionary history discussed and supports the descent of modern birds from theropod dinosaurs.