Obituary of Caleb the Caudipteryx
Charlotte W T1
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.
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, the Controversial Caudipteryx
This was the Caleb's body shape, but the colors are not accurate. Caleb was a bit more of a mellow fellow, so he preferred his color to be a drab brown.
This is the size of the Caudipteryx compared to an average sized man.
The Closest Alive Modern Animal to Caleb
Though they may not actually be related, the pheasant and the Caudipteryx share many similarities. Both share the same ecological niche as each other; being fairly small, flightless, omnivorous birds.
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