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Wishbones and Dinosaurs

The anatomical structure we call the wishbone was long thought unique to birds. But fossil discoveries of recent decades have shown that some dinosaurs, including the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, and the Velociraptors of ”Jurassic Park,” also had wishbones. And there is now wide consensus among... read more »

Topics & Themes:  fossil, humor, science

When Birds Ruled the Earth

A bird known as Titanis walleri made its home in Florida just a few million years ago. Titanis, as its name suggests, was titanic indeed - a flightless predator, ten feet tall, with a massive hooked bill. Titanis and other birds related to it belong to a group some paleontologists call the ... read more »

Topics & Themes:  fossil, science

Myth of the Thunderbird

Legend tells of a huge bird called the Thunderbird. Its origin remains a mystery, even to Native Americans. According to myth, Thunderbird was so large and flew so high, it carried the rain on its back and created thunder and lightning. Perhaps Teratornis merriami was the creature that inspired... read more »

Topics & Themes:  fossil, myth


Fossils discovered in China reveal the largest feathered animal yet known. Gigantoraptor was a very birdlike dinosaur, yet tall enough to look a Tyrannosaurus rex in the eye. Feathered but flightless, it strode the earth on long legs that likely made it a very fast runner.  This illustration... read more »

Topics & Themes:  fossil

Birds and Dinosaurs

What is the connection between the blood-curdling roar of a Tyrannosaurus rex and the gentle song of a robin? A recent bonanza of fossils has intensified debate over how contemporary birds are linked to the extinct dinosaurs. The evidence and theories are complex. Many experts now believe that... read more »

Topics & Themes:  fossil, science