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May 13, 2013

#1211: Birds and Dinosaurs

Birds and Dinosaurs

By any reasonable definition,

T. Rex

is more closely related to sparrows than to



[[A cladistic tree showing a single origin point which branches on one to a second point which branches into "


" and "


“, and on the other side branches into a second point which branches into "

T. Rex

" and “sparrow”. Each label’s vertical distance from the origin point represents “separation by time”, the Steogsaurus being closest, the Triceratops and T. Rex on the same level in the middle, and “sparrow” furthest. The distance of their label from their closest common relative represent “phylogenetic distance”. Below this tree are sketches of a Stegosaurus, T. Rex, and sparrow skeleton. A box surrounds the T. Rex and sparrow skeletons, showing they are physically similar.]]

Birds aren’t


from dinosaurs, they



Which means the fastest animal alive today is a small carnivorous dinosaur,

Falco peregrinus


[[A silhouette of a falcon flying toward a smaller prey bird.]]

It preys mainly on other dinosaurs, which it strikes and kills in midair with its claws.

This is a good world.