The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bird of a different reptile, it’s proven

By Ashley Bradley/ne news editor

Barney, the purple dinosaur with small arms and love for everyone, was created to relate most to Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Well, the ability to prove T-Rex’s color may soon develop in science, and your 6-year-old might find out the reptile isn’t purple and that he ends up evolving into a chicken.

In January, the science journal Nature published an article discussing evidence that certain dinosaurs had feathers and revealed the color of those feathers.

“The team discovered the melanosomes in fossils of the suborder Theropoda, the branch of the dinosaur family tree to which the flesh-eating species Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus belong,” the article said. “Fossils of one theropod dinosaur, Sinosauropteryx, reveal that it had light and dark feathered stripes along the length of its tail.”

The article went on to say the feathers were of an orange color and mostly on the back and tail of their bodies. Unlike birds, these dinosaurs did not use their feathers for flight but for attracting mates, predators or prey.

“Besides communicating to members of its own species — a ‘Come here, cutie’ to members of the opposite sex, say, or a ‘Back off’ message to rival suitors — a quick flash of boldly colored plumage could startle an attacking predator or flush prey out of hiding,” said an article in the journal Science News.

Man, how things have changed. I’m proud as a human to say our species does nothing of the sort. I mean, how Jurassic, right? Wait, Triassic? Again, I’m not a science major.

Finally, a segment on National Public Radio discussed the finding that chickens can have teeth. Scientist John Fallon, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin, was studying a mutilated egg embryo in search of cures for certain diseases when he noticed the embryo had something that looked a lot like teeth. Come to find out — they were teeth.

“The closest living relative of birds in that lineage are the crocodilians, an alligator being one,” Fallon said.

There you have it. Dinosaurs are reptiles. Alligators are reptiles. Therefore, birds are dinosaurs. Kind of puts the whole “humans are apes” thing into perspective, huh?

Anyway, next time your children are twirling around the living room, watching some Barney rerun, just tell them to turn the TV to Sesame Street. That’s where Big Bird lives, and your children should really keep up with the times.

Dinosaurs are Big Birds.

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