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Fossil Birds

Field Museum's Fossil Bird Collection is scientifically important but relatively small. Most birds have fragile, hollow-boned, generally small skeletons which are rare in the fossil record. Extinct birds with larger, more heavily built bones such as the "Terror Bird" above are more likely to fossilize. Our collection has a number of strengths including specimens from the Cenozoic of Argentina & Bolivia, fossil birds from the Eocene Green River Formation in Wyoming, Quaternary birds from Iraq, primitive birds from the Cretaceous of western North America, and from the Cretaceous of Madagascar, specimens from the Ice Age deposits of Rancho La Brea California, and moas from New Zealand.