Previous work has shown that theropod dinosaurs, the dinosaur group which included Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor and gave rise to modern birds, must have decreased in size at some point in their evolution into small, agile flyers.
But size changes frequently occurred in dinosaur evolution, so the research team members, led by Mike Lee, from the University of Adelaide, Australia, wanted to find out if the dramatic size reduction associated with the origin of birds was unique.
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