Matt Lamanna '97 was part of a team of scientists that recently discovered more than 40 fossil remains of an ancient bird Gansus yumenensis, similar to a loon or diving duck, in China.
An article on the findings was published in the June 16 edition of Science magazine; read An early amphibious bird. The group's discovery has been featured in the Science Channel program “Rise of the Feathered Dragon.”
These fossils bird provide fresh evidence of how and when modern-style birds evolved from their dinosaur ancestors. The fossils are believed to be from Early Cretaceous-era lake beds (about 110 million years old) near the tiny, remote town of Changma in northwestern Gansu Province. Several of these specimens are nearly complete skeletons; some preserve rarely fossilized soft-tissues like feathers and skin.
Lamanna, a 1993 graduate of Waterloo High School, is assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.
Stories on the ducks were printed in The New York Times: Fossil Looked Like a Duck and Swam Like a Duck.
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Early bird offers a link to dinosaurs.
The London Telegraph: Study Finds Aquatic Roots for Today's Birds.
Scientific American.com: Ducklike Fossil Points to Aquatic Origins for Modern Bird.
Lamanna's hometown newspaper, the Finger Lakes Times, carried a front-page story about the article on Friday, June 16: Area grad in on big discovery.
The discovery was featured in several news stories published in recent days. Visit http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&ncl=http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/008200606190042.htm.
The Carnegie online Web site when he joined the faculty in the fall of 2004 is available at Meet Matt Lamanna.