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Dinosaur Watching?

September 18, 2015

Is your bird feeder a window back to the Cretaceous period?

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Dinosaurs at your bird feeder. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Birds are descended from dinosaurs, a fact that led Science Update listener Russell Ginns of Bethesda, Maryland to call our 1-800-WHY-ISIT line as he watched birds squabbling at his bird feeder.

RUSSELL GINNS (Bethesda, MD):

Is it possible I’m watching dinosaur behavior exhibited?

HIRSHON:

Paleontologist Joe Sertich at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science says it’s plausible.

JOE SERTICH (Denver Museum of Nature and Science):

The behavior of birds in your backyard probably is very similar to at least the small theropod or meat-eating dinosaurs.

HIRSHON:

For instance, he says theropod brain structure indicates they moved like birds.

SERTICH:

So the way they kind of hop around and kind of jerk and move their head from side to side, that’s probably something you’d see in a small meat-eating dinosaur as well.

HIRSHON:

If you have a science question, call us at 1-800-WHY-ISIT or email us from our website, scienceupdate.com. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.