1. Feathers are highly specialized organs and the distinguishing feature of birds. Even the flightless penguin is classified as a bird because of its feathers. Part of the bird’s anatomy is a furcula or “wishbone” and usually a sternum.
Photo: The Berlin Archaeopteryx. Courtesy of H. Raab. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
1. What did dinosaurs look like? The great French "father of paleontology," Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), established the method of comparative anatomy. This method depends upon knowing the relationship between living creatures and their skeletons.
Photo: Size comparison between the dinosaur "Eoraptor" and a human.
1. What did dinosaurs look like? The great French "father of paleontology," Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), established the method of comparative anatomy. This method depends upon knowing the relationship between living creatures and their skeletons. Then, by similar relationships, extinct creatures can be reasonably reconstructed from their fossil (skeletal) remains.
Photo: Tylosaurus specimen. Courtesy of Daderot. Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
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1. Archaeopteryx means "early wing" and is the paleontologist's Rosetta stone seemingly providing the perfect evidence for the otherwise elusive transition creatures which should fill the rocks with their fossil remains. First discovered in 1861, it is the purported transition between the dinosaur and the bird; seven specimens are claimed to exist.
Photo: The Berlin archaeopteryx specimen. Courtesy of H. Raab. (CC A-SA 3.0 Unported)
Dinosaurs hold a particular fascination for many people, particularly children, and the great beasts have come to exemplify a pre-historic Reptile Age of 60 million years ago. These vast ages are essential for the theory of evolution and any evidence that suggests that some of those creatures from the Age of Reptiles are still alive puts into question the millions of years of their supposed extinction.
Photo: Ica stone depicting dinosaurs. Courtesy of Brattarb. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Heuvelmans, Bernard. 1995. On the Track of Unknown Animals. New York: Kegan Paul. Johnson, Ludwell. 1952. Men and elephants ... The Scientific Monthly (Wash') 75:215-221. Koster, John. 1977. Creature feature. Oceans (San Francisco) 10:56-59.
When claims are made that certain animals known only by their fossils are "extinct," all that is really meant is that no living specimens have been found. For example, the oceans are the least explored area of this planet and undoubtedly contain many creatures that are passing into extinction without ever having been discovered. The plesiosaur may possibly be one such example.
Photo: Skeleton of Columbian mammoth. Courtesy of WolfmanSF. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Does the Bible mention dinosaurs specifically? A study of two Hebrew words (behemoth and leviathan) opens the door to that possibility. There are three possible explanations for the identity of these creatures: (1) they were unreal, mythological creatures; (2) they were non-dinosaurian creatures (living or extinct) that can be identified in the ecosystem of the ancient world; or (3) they were now-extinct creatures that are classified as dinosaurs.
The subject of dinosaurs captures the fancy of every school kid. They are told that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, long before any human walked upon the earth. In this way, many children are introduced to the doctrine of evolution.
In a wildlife program unlike any other seen before, you will journey to discover the story of life itself. Learn about the abilities of parrot fish, dolphins, the habits of ostriches and wildebeest, and the skills and instincts...