Monday, June 18, 2007

Fossils of feathered dinosaurs now in Miami

The Miami Science Museum recently opened an exhibit of 120-million-year-old fossils from northeastern China. This is the first appearance of many of the fossils in the United States, and a national tour of "Dinosaurs of China" might follow their May 2008 departure from Miami. The exhibit includes the remains from feathered dinosaurs that supported hypotheses about the origins of birds.

The rarest of finds, and the ones expected to draw scientists from around the country, are in one relatively small room. They are set into chunks of rock, accompanied by life-size models — tiny when compared with the giant dinosaurs nearby — though Lamanna said their understated presentation had no correlation to their importance.

"In terms of evolutionary significance, every single one of those fossils in there is, I'd say, 10 times more important than the giant dinosaurs," he said.

Caudipteryx dinosaur courtesy of Associated Press

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