Intro: Feathered Dinosaurs (01:22)
This segment reviews "Weird Wonders" and orients viewers to the topic of dinosaur fossils with excerpts from the film.
Fossil Feathers (00:45)
Fossil feathers found in China date back to 160 million years ago. Evidence shows dinosaurs evolved into exotic and unexpected species.
The Earth is home to more than 10,000 bird species. Prof. Richard Fortey visits the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. In the 1990s, experts discovered fossils in China that revealed feathers.
Dinosaur Pompeii (02:43)
Yutyrannus Huali is one of many feathered dinosaur discoveries. Prof. Fortey discusses the Liaoning Province's turbulent past; he examines the local geology.
Liaoning Province Fossils (01:53)
See the first known fossils from the hot springs area, including feathered dinosaurs.
Prof. Fortey explores a geopark and its accompanying museum. Sinosauropteryx was the first dinosaur to be identified as feathered. Learn about its plumage.
Prof. Fortey examines fossilized remains of this feathered dinosaur. Experts compare the theropod to a panda.
Prof. Fortey examines fossilized remains of this feathered dinosaur; it swallowed stones to help with digestion.
Living Dinosaurs (02:50)
Experts compare Caudipteryx to the emu. They discuss its locomotion and the benefits of feathers. Ratites share a common ancestor that was able to fly millions of years ago.
Shenyang Paleontological Museum (02:02)
Prof. Fortey examines the building design and explores various dinosaur fossils inside the museum.
Anchiornis Huxleyi (02:35)
Prof. Fortey examines a fossil of the oldest known feathered dinosaur. Thomas Henry Huxleyi was the first scientist to suggest a link between dinosaurs and birds.
Prof. Fortey examines the quarry where Huxleyi discovered Archaeopteryx. At a museum, Fortey views Archaeopteryx fossils.
Evolution Skepticism (00:50)
Founder of the Natural History Museum, Richard Owen was the principle opponent of Archaeopteryx as an evolutionary link.
Microraptor lived 30 billion years after Archaeopteryx. Prof. Fortey examines fossilized remains of this feathered dinosaur.
Experts place a life-sized replica of Microraptor into a wind tunnel. Learn about its flight style and gliding. Prof. Fortey reviews the two theories on dinosaur flight.
Origin of Feathered Flight? (03:34)
An expert conducted a series of experiments with young birds to understand how their dinosaur ancestors learned to fly. She reflects on transitional fossils.
3D Computer Dinosaurs (01:33)
Experts collaborate to understand how theropods turned primitive flapping behaviors into flight.
London Natural History Museum (02:44)
Experts created a 3D model of an Archaeopteryx brain. Prof. Fortey learns about the structures and their implications. Archaeopteryx was flight ready but primarily a glider.
Prof. Fortey examines a fossil of what could be the first true bird. Experts discuss the tail feathers, lack of teeth, wing claws, and Confuciusornis' inability to sing.
Flora and Fauna of Liaoning Province (01:55)
While Prof. Fortey eats, he reflects on ferns, flowering plants, crustaceans, frogs, eel, and chicken.
Review and Preview (01:20)
Prof. Fortey reviews the topics discusses in this film and reflects on the division between birds and dinosaurs. See excerpts from the next episode. featuring the rise of the mammals.
Credits: Feathered Dinosaurs (00:38)
Credits: Feathered Dinosaurs
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