Scientists may have finally worked out how dinosaurs evolved into birds.
Experts have isolated a genetic sequence which they believe was present in dinosaurs before and during their evolution into birds.
Modern birds descended from a group of two-legged dinosaurs called theropods, whose members included the fearsome T-Rex and smaller Velociraptors.
Fossils show bird-like traits including feathers, light bones, air sacs and three-digit forelimbs.
But identifying genomic DNA changes during this evolutionary transition has remained a challenge.
Tohoku University researchers have isolated a gene sequence they believe was present in dinosaurs before and during their transition to the feathered creatures we recognize today.
The international group of researchers found a specific gene sequence which could be associated with the evolution of flight feathers in the dinosaur era.