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Stephanie Abramowicz

Yanornis martini is a primitive member of the ornithuromorph lineage, the group that includes all living birds. Overall, ornithuromorph fossils reveal features that are better suited for a terrestrial or semiaquatic lifestyle rather than arboreal living, such as a larger size and lack of perching adaptations. Photo by Stephanie Abramowicz, from “Birds of Stone”

Coarsened pads protected the toes of Sapeornis chaoyangensis, which might have used its clawed feed to subdue prey. Photo by Stephanie Abramowicz, from “Birds of Stone”

Confuciusornis sanctus is the most primitive example of a beaked bird. A defining feature in many of its fossils is a pair of extremely long feathers. The fact that some C. sanctus fossils don’t sport these plumes suggests that they’re a male sexual trait used in courtship. Photo by Stephanie Abramowicz, from “Birds of Stone”

From China, a Flock of Fossils - Science Friday A close-up of Longipteryx chaoyangensis’ teeth. Photo by Stephanie Abramowicz, from “Birds of Stone”

From China, a Flock of Fossils - Science Friday Like modern birds, Jehol birds of the now-extinct enantiornithine lineage showed lots of variation in skull shape and size. For instance, Longipteryx chaoyangensis had an elongated snout with large teeth—the better to catch fish. Photo by Stephanie Abramowicz, from “Birds of Stone”

Stephanie Abramowicz

Stephanie Abramowicz

Camptosaurus illustration courtesy of Stephanie Abramowicz and The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

T. rex illustration courtesy of Stephanie Abramowicz and The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

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