From scales to feathers: The evolution of birds

John J Borg/Heritage Malta

About 65 million years ago, a meteor crashed into earth and all the non-avian dinosaurs became extinct. In their absence, the avian dinosaurs grew in size and diversified, some   evolving into modern day birds.

On Tuesday 25th February, during the Carnival holidays, holders of Heritage Malta’s Student Passport are invited to three hours of fun and activities which will reveal more exciting information about this amazing transition. The activity will be held at the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina. 

Today, we find between 10,000 to 18,000 different species of birds in the world. It may come as a surprise to many to discover that the tiny sparrow or the large Wandering Albatross are the direct descendants of those terrible lizards that once upon a time dominated the planet. Following the evolution of the avian dinosaurs, large-sized Terror Birds preyed on smaller mammals, while seabirds started evolving into modern day species.

During this event at the museum, one will learn what happened over a period of 65 million years, in which time, scaly animals were growing feathers and mastering the ability of flight. Participants will also see and listen to some local birds; from shearwaters to buntings.

The activity will start at 10.00 am. Students need to present their ticket and their Heritage Malta Passport for participation in this event. Tickets can be purchased from Heritage Malta museums and sites or online.

The price is €5 for Heritage Malta Student Passport Holders. Students may be accompanied by their parents at no extra charge.

This content was supplied by Heritage Malta