The Union Recorder

Local News

June 21, 2013

Professor helps identify rare fossilized bird


Dr. Bob Chandler, biology professor at Georgia College, has worked for more than 30 years researching modern and fossil bird species.

Recently his expertise was used to help identify a new fossil found by a 10-year-old girl in Colorado.

“A group of park rangers from Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument near Colorado Springs brought pieces of shale and rock to the class for a project. One student, Gabby Linden, discovered a fossilized bird,” said Chandler.

Florissant is known for its rich and diverse fossil deposits. The landscape there has reveled the ancient story of redwood forests, volcanic eruptions and climate change.

“I received a call from Herb Meyer with the National Parks Service, who is a longtime colleague of mine. He wanted me to help identify a new bird found,” he said.

Chandler was sent a photo of the fossil and noticed several identifying features.

“From the shape of the head and the feet with short toes I determined that it was a potoo from the same family as whip-poor-wills and nighthawks,” said Chandler. “Since the fossil dated back about 34 to 35 million years, it is a very significant find.”

This fossil is the first potoo found in North American from the Eocene time period.

“It’s rare to find a complete fossil and even rarer to find one with feather impressions like this,” said Chandler. “This finding now proves the birds in this family were living in North America during that time period.”

Chandler is planning to take a trip to Florissant this fall to further examine the fossil.

“We will take x-rays to find out what other skeletal elements might be buried and take measures for publication of the finding,” said Chandler. “

Chandler received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University. He received his master’s degree in zoology from San Diego State University. He received his Ph. D. in systematics and ecology from The University of Kansas.

For more information on Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, visit

To learn more about the biological and environmental sciences department at Georgia College, visit

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN