Are they related?

In appearance, some bird species resemble some reptile species.  They seem to resemble each other more than any other kind of life form.

Could modern birds be descended from reptiles?

"And God created ... every winged fowl after his kind:"
Genesis 1:21
"And God made ... everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind (reptiles):"
Genesis 1:25

There are two main hypotheses offered:

A. Birds descended from small reptiles.

B. Birds and reptiles are individual life forms created by God; and not related to each other.

If birds descended from small reptiles, there should be more similarities between them then there are differences.



Other Differences

Body Heat


Food Habits

List of Differences

To go from a reptile to a bird you would have to almost completely redesign them from the inside out.  A number of bird experts are now doubting they are even indirectly related.  Where did they come from? 

Should scientists abandon the idea of small dinosaur to bird evolution and look for alternatives?  The extreme differences would seem to falsify this hypothesis.

The Bible indicates God created them as different classification kinds.  They will only reproduce after their kind, and will not slowly turn into another kind.

Birds are said to have evolved from small dinosaurs.  The only thing similar seems to be if you took the feathers off a bird it would look most like a reptile. 

But what about the differences such as: heart, lungs, reproductive systems, body coverings, eye coverings, different genes for feathers and scales and they attach differently to the skin, from the lowest metabolic rate on earth to the highest, body heat regulation, from no growth limit to a growth limit, from tough skin and no glands to tender skin with a glandular system, bone density, flight muscles, type of eggs, most reptiles have no legs while birds have wings, their diet is different, classification, body shape, energy consumption from least to most, etc. 

To go from a reptile to a bird you would have to almost completely redesign them from the inside out.  A number of bird experts are now doubting they are even indirectly related.  Where did they come from?

Questions About Reptile to Bird Evolution

Dr. Pat Shipman is an internationally-recognized expert in the taphonomy, the study of how living animals are transformed into skeletons and then fossils.  She is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University.  Some of her published papers are:

"Missing Links: A Scientist Reconstructs Biography."  American Scholar vol. 70, no. 1: 81-86.

"Telling Science." Research/Penn State May, 2001, 3. Reprinted in Social Science Education Consortium Bulletin vol. 10, no. 1, 8.

Hunting the First Hominid." American Scientist. Vol. 90, no. 1.2002

 “A Worm’s Eye View of Human Evolution.” American Scientist, vol 90, p. 508-510.


In February of 1997, writing in New Scientist: “Birds Do It… Did Dinosaurs?”, she quoted two men, Alan Feduccia, an evolutionist and a bird expert from the University of North Carolina, and Larry Martin, a specialist on ancient birds from the University Of Kansas.

Feduccia: “Well, I've studied bird skulls for 25 years and I don't see any similarities whatsoever. I just don't see it... The theropod origins of birds, in my opinion, will be the greatest embarrassment of paleontology of the 20th century.”

Martin: “To tell you the truth, if I had to support the dinosaur origin of birds with those characters, I'd be embarrassed every time I had to get up and talk about it.”

"Old Theories Die Hard"

What is most interesting about these papers and the news release is the way they make clear how closed off the mainstream Darwinian scientific community has been to challenges to the dino-bird hypothesis. The ScienceDaily news release states:


    "The conclusions add to other evolving evidence that may finally force many paleontologists to reconsider their long-held belief that modern birds are the direct descendants of ancient, meat-eating dinosaurs, OSU researchers say....


    OSU research on avian biology and physiology was among the first in the nation to begin calling into question the dinosaur-bird link since the 1990s. Other findings have been made since then, at OSU and other institutions, which also raise doubts. But old theories die hard, Ruben said, especially when it comes to some of the most distinctive and romanticized animal species in world history.


    "Frankly, there's a lot of museum politics involved in this, a lot of careers committed to a particular point of view even if new scientific evidence raises questions," Ruben said. In some museum displays, he said, the birds-descended-from-dinosaurs evolutionary theory has been portrayed as a largely accepted fact, with an asterisk pointing out in small type that "some scientists disagree."


    (Discovery Raises New Doubts About Dinosaur-bird Links, ScienceDaily (June 9, 2009).

"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils."

“Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin’s argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study."

Gould, Stephen Jay, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, vol. 86 (May 1977), page 14


Here are links to articles by scientists saying birds did not evolve from dinosaurs: