Stop by and witness the ongoing preparation of a new and magnificant ichthyosaur skull from the Middle Triassic Augusta Mountains of Nevada.
This 99-million-year-old amber piece with bird feathers is part of the NHMLA's growing collection of Cretaceous amber. Scientists are currently studying the plumage of avian and nonavian dinosaurs to understand the evolution of flight among other characteristics of birds. Specimens like the one shown here give us one more piece of evidence.
Witness Dinosaur Encounters Saturdays and Sundays in the North American Mammal Hall, Level 2.
Dinosaurs constitute one of the most successful groups of terrestrial vertebrate animals ever to inhabit the Earth. For over 160 million years in the Mesozoic Era, large dinosaurs dominated every terrestrial niche, appearing during the later part of the Triassic, flourishing through the Jurassic, and surviving until the very end of the Cretaceous. A wealth of evidence has been accumulated in support of the notion that a group of carnivorous dinosaurs, theropods known as maniraptorans, contain the predecessors of birds–65 million years after the Cretaceous mass extinction exterminated the last surviving species of large dinosaurs, their living descendants (birds) continue to be a main component of most terrestrial ecosystems.