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The Oldest Bird Voice Box Ever Found

Study of the first fossil vocal organ from the Mesozoic provides insight into the evolution of bird calls and song. The fossil syrinx is from the late Cretaceous of Antarctica. Within dinosaurs there was a transition from a vocal organ present in the larynx (present in crocodiles) to one uniquely developed deep in the chest in birds. Nicole Fuller/Sayo Art for UT Austin.
Study of the first fossil vocal organ from the Mesozoic provides insight into the evolution of bird calls and song. The fossil syrinx is from the late Cretaceous of Antarctica. Within dinosaurs there was a transition from a vocal organ present in the larynx (present in crocodiles) to one uniquely developed deep in the chest in birds. Nicole Fuller/Sayo Art for UT Austin.

The Jurassic Park movies portrayed a prehistoric soundscape filled with brachiosaurus bellows, velociraptor shrieks and Tyrannosaurus rex roars. But because paleontologists have never found fossilized vocal organs from any of those dinosaurs, we don’t really know what their world sounded like.

A new study of a 66-million-year-old bird may provide insight into some of the noises possibly heard at the end of the dinosaur era.

The New York Times, Oct. 12, 2016

The Guardian, Oct. 12, 2016

The Washington Post, Oct. 13, 2016

The Australian, Oct. 13, 2016

The Seeker, Dec.27, 2016

Featuring: Julia Clarke, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Goesciences