Birds are a type of dinosaur. Apart from details
of the skeletons that I can't explain (because I
don't fully understand them myself), the
evolutionary adaptation that seems to mark
the origin of dinosaurs is having feathers.
Non-bird dinosaurs used those feathers mainly
for warmth, but birds have also evolved to use
them for flight as well as warmth.
Warm-bloodedness is also something that
all dinosaurs including birds share and their
closest living relatives do not; however, there is
evidence that crocodiles and alligators descended
from warm-blooded ancestors as well, so
warm-bloodedness was probably indicative of a
larger group of reptiles than just dinosaurs.
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