The first time I saw dinosaurs flying—a lesson about learning something new

It's common knowledge that dinosaurs are extinct. That's the way things have been for the last sixty-five million years or so. Well, maybe most of the great beasts are gone. But the other day I think I saw about eight of them flying over the creek behind my house.

No, I didn't have a bad dream, and it wasn't a strange cloud formation passing by that just happened to look like a stampeding brontosaurus herd! The fact is, I had simply learned something I hadn't known before. I'll admit, though, that the new information was a bit of a surprise, and it has actually changed my outlook about a rather commonplace occurrence—bird watching.

What I recently learned is that, today, many paleontologists believe hundreds of species of birds, from the tiniest hummingbirds to graceful cranes with seven-foot wingspreads, are probably distant relatives of the dinosaur family. They may not look much like the creatures that tromped over the earth all those eons ago, but they've managed to adapt quite nicely to the changing times.

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A place without fear
June 5, 1989

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