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Are Parrots Related to Dinosaurs?

Some scientists, based on the similarities in skeletal structure, have theorized that many bird species evolved from dinosaurs.

parrot-dino-324x205In 2009, scientists discovered the skeleton of a parrot-like dinosaur in the Gobi Desert of Asia. The dinosaur, which was named Psittacosaurus gobiensus, was about 3 feet long, had a powerful curved beak, ate plants and nuts, had dagger-like claws and walked on two legs.  The species — popularly known as the ‘parrot dinosaur’ lived during the Cretaceous period, around 100 million years ago. 

Archaeopteryx, the oldest known fossil bird, looked nearly identical to the small meat-eating dinosaur of the same time, compsognathus, except that it had feathers.

Well-preserved fossils of feathered dinosaurs were discovered during the 1990s, and more continue to be found. 

The question of whether parrots are related to dinosaurs will likely continue to be debated.  Personally, I'm just glad that modern day parrots don't have big teeth!

For more information on this topic check out these article links:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090616-new-dinosaur-parrot-nuts.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/09/080929-new-dinosaur-missions.html

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