March speaker meeting: birds ARE dinosaurs!

Ray Freeman-Lynde, an associate professor in UGA’s Department of Geology, will analyze ways that fossil discoveries in China are blurring the boundaries that separate birds from dinosaurs at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.
Researchers this year described a small, feathered dinosaur found in northeastern China. The fossil, which dates from the Jurassic period, is of a bird-like dinosaur about a foot long with a long tail. Its feathers are much-reduced, leading scientists to believe it could not fly, but scurried along on the ground. Discoveries of fossilized feathery dinosaurs increased exponentially in the 1990s, and today more than a dozen genera have been described. Most are from China.
His talk at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting will be held in the Nature Center’s newly expanded Education and Visitor Center, formerly the ENSAT Center, 205 Old Commerce Road off U.S. Highway 441 north of Athens. To reach the center from the Loop 10 bypass, exit at U.S. Highway 441/Commerce Road and turn north toward Commerce. Go approximately a mile, turn left at the Sandy Creek Nature Center sign and go to the end of the road. Turn left at Old Commerce Road; parking for the Education and Visitor Center will be on the right.