From the Google cache.
Bird from dinosaur age in Antarctic
Date: 1/20/05 at 8:22PM
Playing: I’m a little dinosaur, by Jonathan Richman
Fossil Fowls Raise Bird Questions
Jan. 20, 2005 — Modern birds may have evolved before the mass extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the event conventionally believed to have shaped animal diversity today, a study says.
The first recognizable bird appeared during the Jurassic period about 150 million years ago, if the landmark fossil called Archaeopteryx — a descendant of dinosaurs that grew feathers and took to flight — is a guide.
During the subsequent Cretaceous period, birds developed widely, establishing major lineages.
But many experts believe that it took the extinction of the dinosaurs — wiped out by climate change triggered by the impact of a giant asteroid or comet — before birds, like mammals, were able to evolve into the extraordinarily diverse class and shapes they are today.
This “big bang” was facilitated mainly because the surviving species from the mass extinction were able to exploit habitat niches vacated by the dinosaurs.
That theory is now contested by the discovery of a fossil in Antarctica by palaeontologists from Argentina and the United States.