STL Science Center

STL Science Center

07 June 2012

Popularity Control

Due to Chinese and international law regarding fossil removal, retrieval, sale, and study, Confuciusornis is not as popular as some animals because it is not as freely available to show to the public. Additionally there is that small problem with it not being a dinosaur; people tend to be less enthused by fossil birds that are, well, bird sized, than they do giant birds or dinosaurs. All that being what it is, the four valid species of Confuciusornis, of the family Confuciusornithidae, of the order Confuciusornithiformes, of the clade Pygostylia of the class Aves (classification is a crazy business and I actually have skipped a step or two here), are very interesting and, as the public gains more knowledge about what this gap genus really is, growing in popularity amongst fossil enthusiasts and lovers of biology and all things paleo. This is certainly a good thing because, as I am sure I have stated before, the past is, in many ways, the key to understanding the life of the present as well as the future. Given that there are no movies, toys, or other instances of Confuciusornis in popular culture other than what we have already discussed, I shall leave off this week's bird with a "tribute" video that is dated a little in its illustrations and, unless you like the music involved, may be best left on mute. I swear it seems like people use the same small grab bag of music for these videos and all the songs sound the same. Oh well!

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