You have probably heard how a dinosaur should sound from one of the movies you have watched. But in reality, we really don't know how they sounded. No tape recordings of these beasts have been discovered, as far as we know. Now a new discovery in Antarctica may shed some light on that.

In 1992, a team of Antarctic researchers have found a fossil of Vegavis iaai, a bird that is a larger version of a goose or a duck. Many years later, in 2013, paleontologist Julia Clarke from University of Texas at Austin discovered that the fossil contains a syrinx, a small organ composed of cartilage rings. This organ makes bird calls possible. But from the looks of this organ, the animal probably made a honking sound that is unlike the sound today's geese make. The research in this area is still in its early stages. Further study of the organ may shed more light on the kind of sounds this large bird produced.

And here's some critical thinking content. The fossil was found in Antarctica. That means Antarctica was once a lush land full of dinosaurs and plants. Secondly, it's an organ we're talking about here, a soft tissue. It might be easier to believe dinosaur bones have been preseved for tens of millions of years, if you've heard it said enough times. But an organ tissue just wouldn't last millions of years. That tells us that dinosaurs roamed this planet not that long ago. Also, a soft tissue would be eaten by worms and bacteria in a matter of weeks or days. What happens to organs of a dead cat if you tried finding them a few days after burying the poor critter? The only way to fossilize a soft tissue would be to bury it and petrify it very quickly under a lot of pressure, with water, for example.


University of Texas news release at

Image used is in the public domain under Creative Commons CC0 license.