STL Science Center

STL Science Center

12 January 2017

Putting the SAPE in it

Sapeornis is named after the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution (SAPE), but what is that exactly? SAPE is an organization of scientists devoted to researching the origins and adaptations of birds from the Mesozoic to the modern era. The group is actually somewhat small, by typical scientific society standards, but is populated by an eager and able group of researchers. Their dedication to describing and discovering fossil birds and their course through history has earned the society a great deal of notice in scientific circles and their achievements were rightfully honored with the naming of Sapeornis. This is not the only claim to fame or public notoriety associated with the bird, however. Despite the dearth of movies, documentaries, and gaming references (very typical outlets for dinosaurs and other fossil animals in the public domain), Sapeornis is a fairly well-known fossil animal. Unfortunately, it is often lumped into lists of fossil birds, which is how it is well-known by the public. It is an average sized bird, by today's standards, which is interesting, but does not make it terribly popular by any means.
©Matt Martyniuk

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