Did you know dinosaurs are alive today? They are simply called birds.
“All birds are dinosaurs, but not all dinosaurs are birds,” said Field Museum dinosaur curator Jingmai O’Connor. “Birds are basically a group of dinosaurs, and if you look at the dinosaurs that are closely related to them, you see they look a lot like birds.
O’Connor recently published “When Dinosaurs Conquered the Skies,” a children’s book about the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. It is written for children from 8 to 12 years old. She has also signed books in the museums’ Science Hub and shown behind-the-scenes work.
Mayra Zurita and her husband Rogelio are visitors from Kansas who bought a book to bring back to their nephews.
“And then to find out where we live, you can find fossils,” Zurita said. “Now it makes us want to go back and start digging.”
O’Connor was inspired to become a paleontologist by one of her college professors. She said many scientists who find themselves in the field were encouraged to do so by a passionate teacher.
“You can only really love what you know, can’t you?” O’Connor said. “So a good teacher helps you really know something to really understand something.”
She hopes her new book will get kids excited about science.
“I hope they see birds in a different way, like, ‘Wow, those are dinosaurs.'”