Obituary of Caleb the Caudipteryx

Charlotte W T1

Caleb's History

140 million years ago, during the early cretaceous period, the Caleb the Caudipteryx lived in the modern day Liaoning province of Northern China. During his life, Caleb was small, about 2-3 feet tall from foot to head. He had tufts of feathers about 6-8 inches long on his forearms and forming a tail, as well as smaller feathers covering his whole body. Scientists do not know for sure what purpose these feathers served the Caleb, but there are several theories. Some scientists believe that the Caudipteryx used the feathers on his body for insulation, display, camouflage and species recognition only. This would mean that Caleb was simply a small dinosaur that had grown feathers for non-flight reasons, and was not genetically linked to birds at all. This is a likely theory, because due to the fossils of Caleb, scientists can see that the feathers were arranged in a symmetrical pattern. Flightless birds’ feathers are often symmetrical, whereas birds that can fly have asymmetric feathers. However, another theory is that the Caudipteryx and several other similar species were part of a chain connecting theropod dinosaurs to the modern day birds. Some scientists think that even though Caleb's body type, leg length and pattern of feathers all point it being a flightless bird, it later evolved into flying animals. If this is true, then Caleb would have to be one of the first feathered animals. However, scientists found a fossil of a feathered, flying bird several tens of millions of years older than our Caleb.

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Caleb's Life

During his life, the Caleb had a similar ecological niche to that of the modern day turkey or pheasant. Many believe that Caleb was omnivorous, though this is another controversial subject; Caleb had an odd formation of teeth. To move around and run from predators, Caleb ran on to long legs. Compared to other dinosaurs, he was relatively fast. According to the different theories on how he evolved, scientists have different views on which species are related to it. The professionals that believe that Caleb evolved from theropods to birds think that tens of thousands of modern birds could be distantly related to Caleb, and several other similar dinosaurs. However, according to the other theory, Caleb's closest living relatives are the pheasant and the turkey.

Caleb's Death

As with most of his life, our beloved Caleb's death was mysterious. In fact, scientists and detectives alike do not know how it happened! For several decades, research has been being done to figure out how such a wonderful animal died. If anyone has any information that may be of use to the investigation, pleas do not hesitate to share it at the following link:

www.savecalebthecaudipteryx.com

Caleb, the Controversial Caudipteryx

One of this incredible dino's greatest achievements was it's mastery of mystery. Caleb has started many raging debates among scientists about how to think of evolution and the history of our earth. He has been featured in many science magazines, including National Geographic.

Works Cited

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Perkins, S. "Feathered fossil still stirs debate." Science News 19 Aug. 2000: 119. Science in Context. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

Document URL:

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