PUBLISHED: 20:01, Thu, Jan 7, 2021 | UPDATED: 20:02, Thu, Jan 7, 2021
The reptiles first appeared during the Triassic period and became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates after the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event some 200 million years ago. Fossils show that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs, having evolved from earlier theropods during the Late Jurassic epoch, and are the only lineage to survive the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event approximately 66 million years ago. Researchers, therefore, divide the creatures into avian dinosaurs, or birds, and non-avian dinosaurs.
And Channel 5’s documentary ‘Natural History Museum: World of Wonder’ reveals how one artefact played a pivotal role in understanding the beasts.
The narrator said: “The Natural History Museum is home to over 80 million different items, but its rarest are kept under lock and key, hidden away at the back of the museum’s main hall, in the treasures gallery.
“Today, one of the museum’s dinosaur experts Susie Maidment has been granted special access to examine the most prized fossil in the entire museum.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
“At 147 million years old, this bird-like dinosaur is so highly valued because it was the first fossil to reveal that every species of bird alive today evolved from dinosaurs.
Opinions on what dinosaurs looked like could be changing (Image: GETTY/CHANNEL 5)
The rare fossil is kept under lock and key (Image: CHANNEL 5)
“Susie is making a record of the fossil for other experts to study.”
The fossil was discovered in Germany in 1861 and has been in the museum for 150 years.
And Dr Maidment explained why it is kept separate from the rest of the museum.
She said: “This is archaeopteryx and it’s probably the most important fossil of a dinosaur that there is anywhere in the world.
“I’m a little bit scared to touch it, it’s absolutely priceless – it’s impossible to put a