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.
The Center for Chinese Fossil Discoveries, a joint venture between the Dinosaur Institute of the and the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Southern California, coordinates research programs focused on Chinese fossil discoveries. Learn More >
Scientific research is at the core of the Dinosaur Institute. Our staff and research associates—often in collaboration with professionals from other institutions—maintain an active research program. The goal of this research program is to better understand the evolution of a variety of lineages of archosaurs, a large group of reptiles that encompasses the crocodiles, the pterosaurs (flying reptiles), the dinosaurs (birds included), and a diversity of other less familiar forms that lived during the Mesozoic Era. Some of these areas of research are detailed below: