Bird Link

Velociraptor is believed to have been endothermic due to its close evolutionary relationship to modern birds. Dromaeosaurs such as Velociraptor are more bird-like than Archaeopteryx in many respects, and have a shoulder girdle that is similar to flightless birds. Museum palaeontologists have found that Velociraptor has a wishbone which links it conclusively with modern birds. Velociraptor in particular bears a close resemblance to birds, with its delicate bone structure, S-shaped neck and bird-like arms. It may have had a feathery coat, but we don't know for certain, since this feature is not preserved in fossils. (American Museum of Natural History, 1998) All this suggests that avian flight first evolved in theropods (where they developed big brains and forward facing eyes, features not found in flying insects and pterosaurs), and that some of the flying theropods lost flight. It is not certain at this time whether Archaeopteryx was a member of the true bird clade, or was an independent experiment in flight, or where theropods end and birds begin. (Paul, 1996)

Figure 23: Velociraptor may have had feathers but evidence for this has not been discovered.