Might a 66.7-million-year-old “turducken” be the world’s oldest bird? In episode 75, Daniel Field from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge discusses his research into a bird that mashes up features from chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Its fossil provides the best evidence so far of when modern birds first evolved and began to diverge before the mass extinction event killed the dinosaurs thousands of years later. His open-access article “Late Cretaceous neornithine from Europe illuminates the origins of crown birds,” (free via this link) was published in March 18, 2020 with Juan Benito, Albert Chen, John W. M. Jagt & Daniel T. Ksepka in the journal Nature.
Websites and other resources
- Daniel’s lab, Twitter feed, and thread on this study
- Kevin Padian’s review of Daniel’s study, “Poultry through time“
- CNN: “The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs hit at ‘deadliest possible’ angle“
- Cambridge University’s video on Daniel’s research:
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Hosts / Producers
Doug Leigh & Ryan Watkins
How to Cite
What’s The Angle? by Shane Ivers