Dr. François Ther­rien ex­plores the evo­lu­tion of birds’ wings in this week’s Speaker Se­ries

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Sub­mit­ted Sub­mit­ted The Drumheller Mail

Speaker Se­ries con­tin­ues this Thursday as Dr. François Ther­rien, Cu­ra­tor of Di­nosaur Palaeoe­col­ogy, en­ti­tled “How Did Birds Get Their Wings? Feathered Or­nithomimids from Al­berta Shed Light on the Ori­gin of Wings.”

The Jan­uary 26 ses­sion of the 2017 Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries is a pre­sen­ta­tion by the Mu­seum’s own Dr. François Ther­rien, Cu­ra­tor of Di­nosaur Palaeoe­col­ogy, en­ti­tled “How Did Birds Get Their Wings? Feathered Or­nithomimids from Al­berta Shed Light on the Ori­gin of Wings.”

The dis­cov­ery of the first feathered di­nosaurs in 1998 ir­re­vo­ca­bly changed the per­cep­tion of the phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance of di­nosaurs. No longer the scaly rep­tiles of our imag­i­na­tions, th­ese an­i­mals were cov­ered with feath­ers sim­i­lar to birds. Since that first dis­cov­ery, over 40 dif­fer­ent species of di­nosaurs are now known to have been cov­ered with feath­ers and al­low us to tackle the ques­tion: how did birds get their wings and learn to fly?

Three main hy­pothe­ses have been pro­posed over the years to ex­plain the ori­gin of wings, all equally plau­si­ble and dif­fi­cult to prove. How­ever, the re­cent dis­cov­ery of feathered or­nithomimids in Al­berta of­fers an un­ex­pected al­ter­na­tive to ex­plain why wings first evolved.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Dr. Ther­rien will high­light th­ese or­nithomimid dis­cov­er­ies and ex­plore their im­pli­ca­tions for the study of the evo­lu­tion of wings.

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries talks are free and open to the pub­lic. The se­ries will be held ev­ery Thursday un­til April 27 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mu­seum au­di­to­rium. Speaker Se­ries talks are also avail­able on the Mu­seum’s YouTube chan­nel: youtube.com/user/Roy­alTyrrel­lMu­seum.

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