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Why Birds Are Dinosaurs: MacArthur Genius Grantee Richard Prum Explains

  • Mar 27, 2014 · 6:15 PM
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In the past few decades, researchers have established that birds are actually a living lineage of theropod (“beast-footed”) dinosaurs. Prof. Richard Prum will give a talk on this topic.

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Event Details>>

For thousands of years, birds have been viewed as a special group of animals, set apart from other creatures by virtue of their extraordinary biology. But in the past few decades, researchers have established that birds are actually a living lineage of theropod (“beast-footed”) dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs did not go extinct; they are the most diverse group of vertebrates on the planet today! Richard Prum, the William Robertson Coe professor of ornithology at Yale, will tell us how scientists arrived at this realization and how it has transformed our understanding of both birds and dinosaurs.

Prof. Richard Prum graduated in 1982 Cum Laude from Harvard with an AB in biology and in 1989 from the University of Michigan with a PhD in biological sciences. After a brilliant early career traveling the globe to record avian mating songs and dances, Prum made a string of discoveries that have reshaped the field’s understanding of such fundamental questions as what feathers are for and how mating rituals drive avian evolution.

If one trait has defined his scientific pursuits, it is his insistence on rejecting scientific dogma and finding answers from nature itself. Partly in recognition of his skill at bridging disciplines, Prum was awarded a MacArthur Foundation genius grant in 2009.

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  • Girish

    Prof. Richard Prim gave a fact filled talk last night. Glad that so many from our group showed up and it was also great catching up later at the public house.
    While the connection between Dino's and birds is well known, he was able to shed light on the science behind it. For me, the animation around feather development was an eye opener. How a spike can become a complex feather was always a puzzle to me but that animation did it.

    1 · March 28, 2014

  • David K.

    Really excellent!

    1 · March 27, 2014

  • Ann B.

    Dinosaurs with jazzy colorful feathers... Who knew?
    My view of those creatures and their evolution into today's bird life has been updated and forever changed....
    Thanks, Girish, for arranging an enlightening evening....

    2 · March 27, 2014

  • Myra

    Running late...I should be there before 7pm

    March 27, 2014

  • Girish

    We are on the 11th at 12th rows from front.

    1 · March 27, 2014

  • Girish

    I will stand between front desk and polar bear until around 6:20.
    Wearing coat with flag pin and will have meetup sign. Once doors open to auditorium, I may head in. Hoping enough people show up by 6:20 so that we can also reserve spots together inside.
    If folks are interested, we can stop over at Public House after the event to carry on the conversation.

    March 27, 2014

  • Girish

    If you have not got your free ticket, please do so. They are still available.

    March 26, 2014

  • Paul L.

    Really sorry can't make it Thursday. Theater night for me. Should be a great talk and venue!

    March 21, 2014

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