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You can explore the same topic in an easy-to-read Bird-ology Article or you can continue to the Interactive Feature.

How did feathers evolve? From the fossil record, we know that birds evolved from dinosaurs, some of which had feathers. But those first feathers had nothing to do with flight—they probably helped dinosaurs show off, hide, or stay warm. Scientists recently worked out a hypothesis to explain how complex flight feathers could have evolved. They probably began as simple tufts, or so-called “dino fuzz”, and then gradually developed into interlocking structures capable of supporting flight.

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