Hmmmm. I'd never thought about that. But ya know what? He was kind of right!
Now my good bloggy friend Katie over at On the Banks of Squaw Creek runs a weekly feature called Turkey Tuesday. She shares great turkey recipes and tells us about life on their family farm where they raise (you guessed it): turkeys! In fact, her turkeys go through the processing plant that supplies all of the turkey to Subway west of the Mississippi. She was blogging about her turkeys a few weeks ago and mentioned that June is National Turkey Lovers Month, so I knew we needed to share the spotlight with National Dairy Month and give the turkeys a little love, too. Then Katie (she's a school teacher, can you tell?) did some research and found that in fact, my little preschool visitor was right: there IS a connection between turkeys and dinosaurs. Who would have guessed?
Well apparently the folks at National Geographic guessed: you can set your DVRs for July 7 at 5 a.m. to watch their upcoming special on the relationship between the modern turkey and the ancient dinos. Be sure to check that out for more information.
Now for some cool turkey-dino facts from National Geographic:
- Turkeys are descended from predatory dinosaurs called theropods, which gradually became smaller in size and developed bird like features before finally evolving into the first birds.
- The T.Rex dinosaur was actually a giant turkey - a new study of ancient proteins retrieved from a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil have confirmed that birds are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs.
- The idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs was first introduced by legendary scientist Thomas Henry Huxley in the 1860s.
- Feathers do not necessarily make a bird – dinosaur digs over the last decade in China have revealed several new dinosaur species that were covered in feathers. These were important in order to keep warm and attract mates.
- The fearsome Velociraptor, a relative of the first ancient birds, was incorrectly represented in the 1993 movie Jurassic Park. New research at the American Museum of Natural History shows that the creature was covered in feathers.
- The oldest known bird is the Archaeopteryx, meaning “ancient wing,” which roosted in the European islands of the Late Jurassic around 150 million years ago.
- A recently discovered dinosaur named Microraptor has been helping scientists understand how flight evolved – tiny and bird like with fully developed and feather covered wings on both arms and legs, it glided in forests around 130 million years ago.
- Dozens of new species of dinosaurs and dino-birds are emerging every year – hot spots for new finds are Argentina and China.
Oh, and I think I can speak for Katie when I say go eat a turkey sub at Subway. Her family's hard work made it possible for that turkey to get from their farm gate to your plate.