You’ve probably heard that the humble chicken is the closest living relative to the mighty Tyrannosaurs Rex, but do you know why that is?

Today, we’re going to take you on an evolutionary journey that will leave you feeling a little smarter, and have you looking at the birds around you with a little more wonder.

Now, if you are a nature nerd like me, you are probably thinking to yourself “I already know that birds and dinosaurs are related!” To be honest, I, too, thought I knew everything there was to know about the evidence that links pigeon to Protoceratops. It turns out that, as usual, I was wrong.

So, whether you fancy yourself an evolution expert or a paleontological novice, here’s a great video from PBS Digitial Studios’ It’s Okay to Be Smart to leave us all the smartest person in the room.

I love this particular video because it leaves me feeling a little smarter–who doesn’t like that feeling— and, more importantly, reminds me to dig deeper into the knowledge I just take for granted.

Now, we have quite a few articles here on EWC that can help to flesh out some of the ideas mentioned in this video, and if you have a few extra minutes they are certainly worth checking out!

You may remember him mentioning, briefly, a bird called the cassowary. These birds really do look prehistoric, and if you want to learn more about them you can check out the article we wrote to get a better introduction.

8 minutes

Meet a Living Dinosaur: The Giant Cassowary

Is it possible to find a living dinosaur in some far off corner of the globe? It is if you count the extraordinary, enormous bird called a cassowary!

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If you are more interested in the subject of feathers, here’s a super cool video detailing how scientists are able to figure out what color dinosaurs feathers would have been by looking closely at the fossil record!

8 minutes

Decoding Dino Feathers

Can we ever really know what dinosaurs looked like? Well-preserved fossils of feathered dinosaurs are allowing us to reveal what colors dinosaurs really were! The science behind it might not be as complicated as you think!

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To dive a little deeper into the subject of dinosaur mating dances, here’s an article we wrote that takes a look at what dancing dinos may have looked like.

8 minutes

Do You Dance Like A Dinosaur?

While you may have your own unique moves on the dance floor, it turns out dinosaurs may have also used dance to woo their mates! Here are how the incredible mating displays of birds are helping us to unlock secrets of dinosaur behavior!

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Finally, if we aren’t quite satisfied with knowing that we are surrounded by dinosaur relatives and wanted to bring a t-rex back, how would we go about doing that? Would it even be possible?

8 minutes

Turning Birds Into Dinosaurs

Is turning birds into dinosaurs possible? Creating the dino-chicken isn't just a scientific dream. The science behind the project is already a reality!

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I hope you enjoyed this deeper dive into the prehistoric archive! I believe the best way to remind ourselves that it’s still an amazing world is to arm ourselves with knowledge!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Dive deeper into the fossil record!

To see our full archive of articles about dinosaurs, check out our Dinosaurs Tag, or head over to our Evolution Archive to explore even further!

Dinosaurs on EWC!

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Notes:

  1. “Did Dinosaurs Really Go Extinct?” YouTube. It’s Okay To Be Smart, 08 June 2015. Web. 09 June 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_RLz0whDv4>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV