When did dinosaurs become birds? © Getty Images

When did dinosaurs become birds?

The idea of little velociraptors that can fly is a scary thought, but not too far from reality.

Today’s birds evolved from dinosaurs, which makes them dinosaurs! The same way bats are mammals, birds are a strange type of dinosaur that got small, evolved wings and developed the ability to fly.

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Birds evolved from ‘raptor’ dinosaurs – the Velociraptor family. The oldest fossil of a true bird, defined as a dinosaur that could fly by flapping its wings, is Archaeopteryx, which lived about 150 million years ago in the Late Jurassic.

But because close ‘raptor’ cousins of birds are known from earlier in the Jurassic, it’s likely birds first took to the skies around 170 million years ago.

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Asked by: Emily Brown, Nottingham

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