Monday, 8 June 2009

Meet the ancestors

I wonder if Blodwyn realises, she may have just met one of her distant ancestors.
Scientists are finding constant links that our modern day chicken could be related to the incredible dinosaurs that enjoyed a 'free range' of our world over 100 million years ago.

The terrifying Velociraptor, made famous by the film 'Jurassic Park' was believed to have a fine covering of feathers and possibly not much bigger than a turkey. The picture of Branwen indeed shows a more ferocious side to our feathered friends.

If she was any larger, I think she would certainly be a match for any Velociraptor!

Feet are a great clue to their past. These pair belong to Branwen. Note the sharp claws at the end and scaly skin. Not unlike the Archaeopteryx below - one of the first fossilized birds.

Then there is the Gallimimus which is closely related to the ostrich. Part of the Ornithomimids group and very similar to our ground living birds with a lightly built skeleton, long neck, compact body, small skull and beak.

Note how long my hens necks appear on this photograph and quite similar in structure to the ancient Ornithomimids.

That's the science bit - now for something eggstra!

Dinosaurs laid eggs to hatch their young - just like my girls - I am a little concerned about what is hatching inside the chicken coop though.

Could this be the start of something new? There are dinosaurs all over the place.

Blodwyn is not too happy about sharing the coop with a stegosaurus.

That may be that he is not such a close cousin as the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. At least she has the upper hand now, as after 100 million years, she is a lot larger, so he is no competition for her.

The Dinosaurs may be extinct, but some of their characteristics live on in our feathered friends. Watch out for that broody hen or the ferocious cockerel next time you go inside the chicken coop.


  1. Wonderful Di and thanks for the history lesson x

  2. I found your account fascinating. I wish I'd had that information when teaching the boys who adored the subject of dinosaurs! Hugs...x

  3. Another interesting 'article'. Whack it off to Practical Poultry dear!

  4. Hey Di you never know there maybe some 'history' between the dinosaurs your 'girls' from the photos they portray similar characteristics, their claws for example not to be messed with plus Blodwyn giving the eye to one of them, just one concern hope you are checking those eggs before you bring them to work, don't wanna scare anyone, well most anyway LOL, Regards Ian xxx