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Evolution of theropod dinosaurs
Carrano, Matthew T. Curator of Dinosauria, Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
- Evolutionary history
- Body size
- Growth and reproduction
- Arms, hands, and wings
- Origin of birds
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Theropods (suborder Theropoda) are among the most evocative dinosaurs and include such famous predators as Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor. All carnivorous dinosaurs were theropods, although some theropods were secondarily omnivorous or herbivorous. Their origins lie among the earliest dinosaurs, and they persisted for more than 160 million years until the end of the Cretaceous. In fact, because birds evolved from theropods, they still exist today. (Hereafter, “theropods” will refer only to nonavian forms.)
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