Click here to view CMI's position on climate change.
Also Available in:
This article is from
Creation 34(3):48–50, July 2012

Browse our latest digital issue Subscribe

Modern birds found with dinosaurs

Are museums misleading the public?


Duck One ©iStockPhoto.com/Andy Gehrig | Duck Two ©iStockPhoto.com/Paul Tessier | Gallery ©iStockPhoto.com/gyn9038 | Barrier ©iStockPhoto.com/Nicolas Hansen | Dinosaur ©iStockPhoto.com/Christian Martínez Kempin

The theory of evolution states that all living creatures arose from a single cell by natural processes over eons of time, and God had nothing to do with this process. According to the theory each animal arose from a different kind of animal over ‘millions of years’. E.g. most evolutionists assert that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs. Finding fossils of modern birds with those of dinosaurs, not just above them, contradicts this idea.

Dr Carl Werner’s book and DVD, Living Fossils, reveals that fossil researchers have found many modern bird remains with dinosaurs, yet museums do not display these fossils, thus keeping this information from the public. By keeping this information hidden, children and adults are indoctrinated with the false idea that animals changed over time (since the time of the dinosaurs), and that evolution is true.

In order to test evolution, Dr Werner visited 60 natural history museums and ten dinosaur dig sites in seven different countries. When he asked paleontologists if they had any personal knowledge of modern birds found with dinosaurs, he was in for quite a surprise.

“I interviewed a scientist at the Museum of Paleontology at Berkeley who discussed a parrot fossil they had found in Cretaceous layers (‘dinosaur rock’). But the parrot fossil was not on display in the museum.”

With each interview, more modern birds that had been found with dinosaurs were added to his list, including: parrots, penguins, owls, sandpipers, albatross, flamingos, loons, ducks, cormorants and avocets. Carl assembled this list from interviews he did with various paleontologists, as well as from articles by evolutionist scientists and a textbook (the details of the sources can be found in Living Fossils).

It was not long before Dr. Werner noted an important discrepancy: museums were not displaying what the scientists were revealing in their one-on-one interviews. In fact, the natural history museums contradicted reality and were suggesting the opposite. Of the 60 museums he visited, he did not see one single fossil of a modern bird that had been found in a dinosaur rock layer and only one museum out of 60 displayed a modern bird model with a dinosaur: the Milwaukee Museum. In an out-of-the-way corner, the museum had a reconstructed avocet that had been found at Hell Creek (Montana) dinosaur dig site (see photo of avocet reconstruction below)—this is clearly an avocet.


Sign at the American Museum of Natural History, 2011. Contrary to the sign, Dr Werner discovered that many types of birds have been found with dinosaurs including ducks, loons, flamingos, albatross, owls, penguins, sandpipers, parrots, cormorants, avocets, as well as extinct birds such as Archaeopteryx and Hesperornis. While these extinct birds did have teeth, many other modern types of birds without teeth have been found. By leaving this fact out, the museum display misleads the public.

Dr Werner: “Museums do not show you these modern bird fossils nor do they put modern birds fleshed out with feathers in their dinosaur dioramas. This is wrong. Essentially, every time you see a T. rex or a Triceratops in a museum display, you should also see ducks, loons, flamingos or some of these other modern birds that have been found in the same rock layers as these dinosaurs, but this is not the case. I have never seen a duck with a dinosaur at a natural history museum, have you? An owl? A parrot?”

Avocet ©Photo by James Ownby from Living Fossils | Plinth: sxc.huAvocet-Milwaukee
An avocet in the dinosaur exhibit at Milwaukee Museum (top) - a rare example of a modern bird (bottom) in such displays.
“Not only do they not display birds, but the prestigious American Museum of Natural History suggests the opposite in their dinosaur-to-bird placard. This display is extremely misleading and again does not mention modern birds with dinosaurs.” (See sign above)

Are the museum displays just out of date, or are they purposely withholding information? Two years after the release of Dr Werner’s book, the Carnegie Museum, the Smithsonian Museum and the American Museum of Natural History have still not corrected these discrepancies.

From Dr Werner’s global investigations, this is a worldwide phenomenon with the museums; only one museum gave any hint that modern birds have been found with dinosaurs.

It should be noted that modern birds were not found in all dinosaur layers, only Cretaceous layers (not in Jurassic or Triassic rocks). Evolutionist paleontologist Dr Bill Clemens told Carl that the Cretaceous bird fossils were found when they went looking for modern animals in the Cretaceous layers to provide evidence that the asteroid impact hypothesis was wrong1 (this is the idea that an asteroid impact wiped out the dinosaurs ‘at the end of the Cretaceous’). The researchers were trying to establish continuity between the fossils in the rocks above the Cretaceous with those in the Cretaceous; so they were looking for modern creatures. Who knows what they would find if they looked hard in the other layers?

On CMI’s documentary, Darwin—the Voyage that Shook the World, Professor Phil Currie, palaeontologist at the University of Alberta, Canada, spoke about how a researcher’s ‘search image’ can affect what is discovered. “In spite of the fact that you think you have an open mind, very often your perceptions of what things should be, or your search image, or your cultural beliefs in some cases, will actually be working on your mind so that your eyes are open but they are not really open; they are missing something that could take you in an entirely new direction.”

When researchers are looking for dinosaurs they tend to not even notice the remains of other creatures and plants. And when they are found, they tend to be put aside as uninteresting. Finding a new ‘exotic’ dinosaur is much more exciting and publicity-worthy than finding a bird or a mammal that everyone is familiar with. And of course funding agencies are after exciting finds of a lost world, not ‘boring’ fossils of modern creatures that also subtly suggest that animals did not evolve.

In spite of all these factors, more and more modern animals and plants are being found in rocks where they should not be, according to the evolutionary view. There are so many examples (such as those discussed in Living Fossils), that it amounts to a strong confirmation that animals did not change significantly over time, that God made things to reproduce ‘after their kind’; providing a powerful challenge to the evolutionary story.

Related Media

Dr William Clemens, UC Berkeley, on modern birds being found in Cretaceous rock. (Clip from Living Fossils DVD)

References and notes

  1. There is ample evidence against the impact theory of extinction—see for example creation.com/iridium. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Jodie T.
Have had an interesting question. Surely, considering the number of fossils, there would be some digs where human remains , fossils, have been discovered with dinosaurs? This would absolutely refute that they were on earth prior to mankind. And if none have ever been found why would you think this is since they all were washed away in the same event? Thanks
C. W.
I have never understood the timeline of creation or how the dinosaurs came to be. Since dinosaurs are "animals" shouldent two of them have gone on the arc with Noah? How were the dinosaurs extinct if there was no asteroid that whiped out everything? I believe in God and I know he is my creator but how did the dinosaurs leave the earth? Were the dinosaurs even here in the first place? Please excuse my many questions but i have never understood this.
Don Batten
This article answers your questions (and more): What about dinosaurs?" from the Creation Answers Book (I recommend the whole book, which answers over 65 common questions that people ask). Yes, God created dinosaurs and we believe that representatives were on Noah's Ark.
Mike J.
From a recent post at Creation/Evolution Headlines;

'The oldest bird tracks in Australia, claimed 105 million years old, were reported by Science Daily. Anthony Martin (Emory U) commented, “These tracks are evidence that we had sizeable, flying birds living alongside other kinds of dinosaurs on these polar, river floodplains, about 105 million years ago.”
Don Batten
Yes, and one of the researchers said that the prints showed the classic toe-drag of a heron or egret coming in for a landing.
Sandy J.
I have been studying real science for 40 years since I was saved because when God opened my eyes, I realized that what I was taught in the education systems was obviously incompatible with the Bible and no attempts to make it compatible ( such as "theistic evolution" or the "day age theories", etc. etc. ) make any sense.
The more I have continued to study the matter, the more wrong information and cover ups by those of the "Evolutionist" religion I have found. The false information in museum displays is just part of it. I do not believe that in all cases they deliberately set about to cover up facts, although there are definitely cases of that. What I see is the strong delusion stated in Second Thessalonians 2:11 which causes them to believe the Lie of "Evolution" so fervently that they simply cannot put what they believe to be "science" to any test of truth. In fact, part and parcel of the delusion is that the impossible and unscientific becomes "truth" to the deluded while the possible and the scientific become "delusion". This reversal of reality feeds the "Evolution" religion and keeps those who believe themselves to be "enlightened" firmly and securely in the dark, oblivious to scientific facts which disprove "Evolution". (I capitalize "Evolution" because it is a religion just as Buddhism or Hinduism are.) The belief that it is "science" is part and parcel of the delusion.
It is ONLY God who can open the minds deluded by the "Evolution" religion and allow them to see that the very facts of science, which, ironically, they like to claim as supporting their beliefs, have proven and continue to prove the impossibility and the patent absurdity of "Evolution". While they revel in their imagined "enlightenment, they grope in the dark from which only God can free them.
Brian C.
Dear Don
Many thanks for your article, these finds are revealing for all the reasons stated. However, they raise an obvious question; where are all the "modern" mammals?

Richard Dawkins challenges us to find a rabbit among the dinosaurs that would, according to him, destroy Darwin.

These bird finds ought to be enough but I suspect that even a rabbit would not do for Richard. However, we do need to respond to the challenge. I am aware of a few mammal finds but surely mammals would be far more easily entrapped by the rising flood waters than birds so one would suppose that there ought to be far more mammal fossils than bird fossils.

Do you have any views?
Don Batten
Thanks Brian. Quite a number of mammals similar to modern ones have been found. Dr Werner mentions some in his book. You can read about some Jurassic ones in an article by Mike Oard.
A rabbit has been found 'dated' at 53 Ma; pretty close to the 'dinosaur era' (National Geographic news October 28, 2010), so I would not be at all surprised if a Cretaceous rabbit fossil is found. Has anyone actually looked?
It is interesting that nearly all the birds found with dinosaurs are water birds. This would make sense if dinosaurs were semi-aquatic like crocodiles, living around and in swamps, which seems to be the case. Not many mammals live in those sorts of habitats. One of the mammals found is described as beaver-like; again suggesting an aquatic creature. So we might not expect to find a non-aquatic mammal like a rabbit with dinosaurs; they would not live in the same habitat.
Even if two creatures lived at the same time, their fossils would not necessarily be found together. Take the coelacanth fish, for example. According to evolutionary dating, it has been around for 300 Ma, covering the whole dinosaur era, but I don't think any fossils have been found with dinosaurs; possibly because coelacanths are deep sea fish, which would not be living in swamps with dinosaurs. But coelacanths have not even been found with whales, and yet according to the dating they lived in the sea for an overlapping time. Many other modern creatures can be found even back to the Cambrian (~500Ma): jellyfish, sea urchins, clams, brachiopods, starfish, snails, velvet worms, etc.
So Dawkins is rather selective in the animals he wants to challenge on. The finding of many modern birds with dinosaurs is surely sufficient to '"destroy Darwin" (almost of similar significance to finding a rabbit), but I don't think that Darwin is open to destruction by any evidence, otherwise Dr Dawkins would have to rethink his atheism and that just does not seem to be on the table.
Peter H.
Thank you Kylie B. Well said.
Greg S.
Brilliant work to all involved. Visual displays shape our worldview profoundly. Actually seeing modern birds with their feathers and colours in the of a same context of a t-rex has is a powerful tool to bring down "lofty thoughts" in the background of modern thought.
Paul M.
Thank you Don for this article and your work in tracking down the cretaceous/modern bird evidence.
I would like to point out that as a once evolutionist (and atheist/agnostic) I was very interested in the fields of fossils, paleontology and anthropology. Not one of my discoveries or conclusions was a 'deliberate attempt' to hide the truth at a conscious level. (I choose my words carefully here, because I was indeed in rebellion to God) There is a conspiracy involved here, but it is in the unseen powers working downwards through sometimes well meaning, (albeit uninformed) even truth seeking people.
I thank you and encourage others to not lambast all evolutionists with a 'conspiracy!' attitude and let the evidence speak for itself. I also know that my beliefs (even though I did not recognize them to be so) in evolution were rocked to the core by a gentle, well meaning and well prepared christian friend who presented many of the arguments on this site. It was then that I could see the conspiracy from the other side, but only with spiritual eyes did I know how large it was.
I approach all evolutionists (and unbelievers) with the humility as one once well deceived and lacking in a knowledge of God leading to repentance and use all my knowledge to help them, and pray that God will do a miracle in them as he did in me.
Don Batten
Thanks Paul. Well said.
The article canvassed how this happens because of a mind-set, not because of deliberate deception on behalf of paleontologists.
Also, I must give credit where it is due: Dr Carl Werner was responsible for the research, as documented in his book on living fossils that is referenced in the article. There are many more details in the book (e.g. what various paleontologists had to say about the matter).
Leonie T.
This is amazing my children are fascinated with dinosaurs and we want to equip them with the facts of God's creation and having modern living birds on display with dinosaurs would not be less interesting but would open the door for more conversations and interest and questions about how awesome God is and the truth about God's creation of you and me and all we see today.
N. O.
I do not think the information are "hidden"--popular science media publish articles about "Cretaceous" fossils identified as modern birds (though they often are incomplete--for example, the "Cretaceous parrot" only consist a beak fragment, which also have been suggested to be from an oviraptorosaur or turtle (according to Alan Feduccia)).

Finds of Cretaceous ducks (Vegavis) etc. might not be shown in museums--but people want to see dinosaurs in museums, not something you can find alive in the pond...
Don Batten
Regarding whether the parrot jaw/beak might have been misidentified, the Berkeley University news (Berkeleyan) reported on the work thus in 1998:
"He [Stidham] readily recognized this particular fossil as a parrot, which has a distinctive lower jaw normally covered by a horny, fingernail-like substance that forms the beak. Stidham X-rayed the jaw and found nerve and blood vessel tracks identical to those of modern parrots.
"This specimen, only half an inch long, was probably from a bird about the size of a macaw, and most closely resembles the lories of Australia and some of the South American macaws."
Jason B.
If this is true it would throw a wrench into the theory of evolution by natural selection. I would like to see some documented evidence of these below 65mya dinosaur bones existing within the same strata as modern birds. If I could get just one picture or video that would be great!
Don Batten
There is one picture in the article; the avocet.
The list of species found with dinosaurs, provided in the article, comes from evolutionary paleontologists, as cited, and as stated, more details are in Dr Werner's book, Living Fossils.
By the way, natural selection is not a viable mechanism for evolution. The only game in town for evolution to progress from microbe to microbiologist is mutations, which are accidental changes to existing genetic information, which are not adequate for the job. Demonstrations of natural selecton are not demonstrations of evolution. See Natural selection Q&A
kyle B.

I am writing because I’m a truth seeker and I think there might be a genuine misunderstanding of evolutionary theory in your article, but I like to keep an open mind so I would just like to point out what I think is the misunderstanding so that you can either show me how I am wrong or else correct the article.

The misunderstanding is found in your statement “most evolutionists assert that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs. Finding fossils of modern birds with those of dinosaurs, not just above them, contradicts this idea.” This has the wrong idea about what constitutes an out-of-place fossil. In standard evolutionary theory, birds aren’t necessarily found only above dinosaurs because birds evolved from a side branch of the dinosaur family tree alongside other dinosaurs. They didn’t evolve just as the dinosaurs were going extinct, but somewhere in the middle of the dinosaurs’ reign. This means that we shouldn’t see birds before all dinosaurs, but birds contemporary with some of them are expected. As an analogy, consider that dogs were descended from wolves. Finding dogs contemporaneously with wolves is fine – they both exist right now after all. What actually constitutes an out of place fossil would be a species occurring before it should have done so. For example, if dog bones were found noticeably before all wolf bones. In the dinosaur-bird example, if birds were found in say, Permian or Carboniferous strata (before the arrival of dinosaurs) this really would contradict the idea that dinosaurs evolved from birds. But this is not the case – there are no birds in these layers. Finding birds in cretaceous strata doesn’t contradict the dinosaur-bird theory any more than modern day dogs and wolves contradict the wolf-dog theory.

Thanks & regards in advance, Kyle
Don Batten
Good to hear from you Kyle.
Please see the response to N.O. above.
In hindsight the opening paragraph could have been phrased better, but this is an archive article and so I can't change that now. In the context of the rest of the article it should be clear that the emphasis is on the problem of stasis and museum displays giving false impressions of evolutionary change by omitting the 'living fossil' evidence of lack of change (deliberately or inadvertantly). Note, for example, the concluding paragraph.
Andy W.
After reading your article I typed in "cretaceous" and "birds" in Google and noticed that one of the first articles in the results is entitled: "A drowned nesting colony of Late Cretaceous birds." This was discovered in Romania and evidently, like China, some interesting "anomalies" are appearing in the rocks. The article even mentions that the rocks were at one time described as "Oligocene or Miocene in age." One wonders what criteria they may have used to make that determination.
Debbie D.
Yes, thank you Dr. Batten. I send these short, easy to read articles to my unbelieving brother who thinks (secular) science is the end all and be all of nearly everything. They're great dialog starters.
N. O.
I think your commentator R.M. does have a point, Mr. Batten; with belief in vast ages, evolutionism have no problem with modern birds alongside dinosaurs (as many modern day evolutionists believe)--they just push the origin of modern birds "back in time".

Evolutionists believe the first birds arose some 160 million years ago, i.e. none of the "Late Cretaceous" dinosaurs are their ancestors--rather, evolutionists regards those as colateral relatives of birds, just as they see themselves as colateral relatives to modern fishes, not their descendants--surely, you must be aware of this.
Dr Don Batten
Of course we are very aware of the common evolutionist claim that birds evolved from a dinosaur in the 'Jurassic', not the Cretaceous. The extinct Jurassic bird, Archaeopteryx, is mentioned in the article.
However, it is the appearance of modern birds that is the issue. Modern birds are supposed to have evolved from some earlier Jurassic dinosaur (a truly radical transformation) but then remained unchanged for more than 65 million years. The presence of the modern birds speaks of stasis, not evolution. As the article says, "By keeping this information hidden, children and adults are indoctrinated with the false idea that animals changed over time (since the time of the dinosaurs), and that evolution is true."
Charlie P.
I fully understand the desire for some to follow creationism rather than evolution theory in order to follow their literal translations and interpretations of the Bible. However, there are a few of us Christians out here that also believe God "created" the Heavens and Earth"; but we are just not as determined to place your understanding and interpretation of God's methods in a such a structured and time-based definition. I am simply saying it seems to me that I can accept my God and the Creator may have used whatever timeframe and/or time period he wanted to take... since He has no beginning and no end... rather than my Creationists friends that are working so hard to explain God's process by Man's limited understandings. And, by the way, its OK with me if I am wrong... as long as I humbly recognize God as the Creator, and not to let my self get too hung up on trying to figure out how he did it!
Don Batten
If you are actually humble, you will submit to what God says. In Exodus 20, God wrote on stone that He created everything in six days and with the seventh day of rest gives the basis for our seven-day week. So God himself gave us this structured and time-based definition. Do you believe God?
God has no beginning or end, but creation has both a beginning and an end and is bound by time, which the Bible clearly sets out; see: How does the Bible teach 6,000 years?
Also, marrying the Bible with deep time undermines everything, if you think about it: Did God create over billions of years?
Are you humble enough to believe your Creator?
Hans G.
How did the dinosaurs died out? They thought they could fly and jumped from a cliff.............

Nobody believes me..........
Michael I.
Awesome article. Thanks Dr. Batten. I appriciate the work you and everyone at CMI do. God bless you.
Sas E.
I think this is a deliberate attempt by secular museums and evolutionist scientists to mislead and deceive the public. This should not surprise anyone as we are all approaching the last days and things like this can shake the faith of some people
Don Batten
It certainly has the appearance of being deliberate, although as we indicated in the article, the 'search image' of the paleontologists could be a major factor (they have just not interested in or looking for modern birds because they are looking for dinosaurs).
Ian N.
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

This perfectly shows what modern evolutionists are all about, exchanging God's truth with a lie.
R. M.
It is interesting to see that the "if we descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?" argument continues to evolve, along with the idea that "unethical scientists are hiding evidence from the public" refrain.
Don Batten
It does not seem like you read or thought much about the article before commenting, Richard. For your criticism to be at all relevant, the article would have had to have claimed something like, 'We still have dinosaurs today, so how could they have evolved into birds?' Is that what you read in the article??
We actually list 'If humans evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?' as an argument we think creationists should not use.
The article also generously suggests that the problem might not necessarily be deliberate with-holding of information but a matter of the 'search image' of the paleontologists. This was elaborated upon, so you don't seem to have read the article very carefully at all.
John L.
Even if someone searched for and failed to find birds in the Jurassic or Triassic layer would that be particularly suprising? It seems to me that their ability to fly would help keep them from getting buried in the first several days of the flood - only when they get exhausted would they start to land, drown, and get buried. By this time a bunch of layers of flood residue would be in place.
Spike I.
I'd like to see your source of information please.
Don Batten
The sources are given in the article.
F. G.
There can be no promotion of the hypothesis (not "theory") of evolution -- or of any other Godless philosophy -- without deliberate deception.
Don Batten
I think there are some who have never heard anything else and have mistakenly just believed their teachers. They themselves are more deceived rather than deliberate deceivers.
John L.
Thank you I will put this on Facebook.
C. M.
Well, evolutionists have sold the evolution thought pattern as scientific fact to institutions like museums, university, schools and peer reviewed scientific journals which are under their controls in the name of advancing science.

If evolutionists were to admit openly in their peer reviewed scientific journals that fossils of modern birds found with those of dinosaurs, they will have nothing to hold on to for their faith. Possibly that is why some atheists have embraced Buddhism.
Don Batten
Nothing will cause the collapse of evolution for the true believers, because the alternative is 'unthinkable'. And yes, Buddhism is a choice for some, because it still means you can pretty much do your own thing without reference to God and His demands, accountability for our actions, etc.
Robert N.
Wow I would be very interested to see what 'dating' they give those modern birds and if they end up with the same 'age' as the dinosaurs, that would throw a spanner in the works of dinosaur to bird evolution!
Don Batten
The 'age' given to these birds is the same as the dinosaurs they are found with ('Cretaceous'). Anything found with dinosaurs cannot, by definition, be younger than 65 million years, because that is the 'dinosaur dogma', that dinosaurs died out 'then' (in spite of the abundant scientic and cultural evidence that they did not die out millions of years ago; e.g. see Carbon-14 in dinosaur bones).
Ian H.
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them" 2 Cor 4:3,4.
What we see is what we should expect to see (although we must be incredibly saddened by it). Down through the ages Evolutionists have constantly denied God and Creationists have consistently declared Him. Bill Cooper's 'After the Flood' documents this tension throughout the Greek, Roman and other ancient cultures and shows the descent of the Western Kings from the Sons of Noah using documentation that predates Christianity.

Comments are automatically closed 14 days after publication.