STL Science Center

STL Science Center

25 June 2012

Ichthyornis the Supporting Actor

Ichthyornis is featured in several clips on the internet of different documentaries, but it is only explicitly named in Dinosaur Planet episode called Pod's Travels. Its entire mention is in the first ten seconds of the clip above and does not really go into any great detail about Ichthyornis. Similarly, the other clips which mention it or discuss issues pertinent to the survival of birds or evolution of birds, do not discuss the bird specifically. This is actually quite sad given that it has been studied and unearthed in so many places and by so many people. The other kind of video that could be included here would be those pesky tribute videos, but I think that today we would be better without. Consider the way the bird is illustrated by the artists working for Discovery and the producers of this show. It is clearly modeled after modern gulls. The colors, its behaviors in indicating that land is near, and the way it flies are all clearly influenced by the modern gull. Is this correct? That is your decision to make!

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