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Chicken jigsaw

By Mike, 10 April 2013 Activity

Going by their work, paleontologists would need to be pretty good at putting together jigsaw puzzles. Paleontologists have the task of identifying bones based on their shape, then estimating where they belong in the body. Often they only have a couple of bones or teeth to use to identify the fossilised animal.

While you know what a chicken looks like, nobody has ever seen a dinosaur or other ancient reptiles. Scientists have to look at modern creatures, such as birds and lizards, to get some clues on how fossilised bones should be arranged to create an image of the original skeleton.

If you are eating a roast chicken, try the paleontological puzzle below with the remaining bones.

Illustration of the location of bones on a chicken.

rotten food hazard iconSafety: Remember to throw the bones out when you’ve finished, and wash your hands afterwards!

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