The surprisingly steady shrinking and elegant evolution of the dinosaurs over 50 million years is described in the journal Science.

Scientists focused on a family of two-legged, meat-eating dinosaurs called theropods. That suborder of dinos survives to this day as birds, however unrecognizable and improbable it sounds.

Theropods have been considered the ancestors of birds for a couple decades. But the new work gives the best picture of how they were transformed over time into the earliest versions of birds.

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