AUSTIN, Texas — A PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin shared a photo of a bird she’s studying, claiming it’s proof that birds evolved from dinosaurs, and it has since gone viral.
Sarah Davis, who is studying paleontology, shared a photo on Twitter of her holding the claws of a male southern cassowary.
Davis said she shared it “just in case any of your friends still need convinced” that birds are related to dinosaurs.
Holding the claws of a male southern cassowary… Just in case any of your friends still need convinced that 🐦 = 🦖! #gradschool #PhDlife #Paleontology #dinosaurs #birdsaredinosaurs pic.twitter.com/L6vYwyXmyx
— Sarah Davis (@PaleoFeathers) January 15, 2019
After her post gained popularity Davis followed up with some additional information.
She shared that the cassowary pictured had died of natural causes “after a long and healthy life” and is now being used to study avian anatomy, color and features as part of multiple graduate research projects.
However, the cassowary species as a whole is reportedly “much alive and kicking.”
“I feel incredibly humble to be able to work with such a magnificent bird,” she said in another tweet.
Davis also said that cassowaries are native to Papua New Guinea and Australia. They are reportedly fruit eaters, but that “doesn’t mean they don’t know how to use those impressive claws.”
Male cassowaries can reportedly grow to be 1.5 m tall and weigh up to 59 kg.
Davis also said, after a social media user asked her if cassowaries “actually roar,” that the species makes a noise called a “boom.” She added, “roaring is a mammal only thing, but some birds can make equally terrifying super-low frequency calls. Other dinosaurs also likely didn’t roar, due to their anatomy.”
Davis’ original tweet has since been shared more than 4,000 times.