Natural history museums have systematically withheld the most important fossils from their dinosaur displays. Were you aware that modern animals such as parrots, owls and ducks were found with dinosaurs? How about opossums and hedgehogs?
When you take your 10-year-old son or daughter to a museum, your child will probably never see these animals in the dinosaur displays even though paleontologists have known this information for years. The Smithsonian Museum, the Carnegie Museum and the American Museum of Natural History have withheld the most important modern bird and mammal fossils from their public dinosaur displays, and may have misled children by implying that dinosaur times were more strange and unusual than they really were.
A survey of museums from around the world reveals that these larger museums are not alone. Not one natural history museum out of sixty visited displayed modern birds in their dinosaur dioramas, even though these animals were found at dinosaur dig sites.
But what does all this mean?
Opponents of evolution are bothered that museums have not shared this information with the public. They suggest these living fossils are evidence that evolution did not occur. By not displaying the modern types of animals found with dinosaurs, natural history museums give a false impression that animals changed more than they really did. Evolution scientists believe some animals simply did not evolve since the dinosaur era and are not bothered by living fossils. Whatever the interpretation, one thing is clear, museums have not communicated to school children that parrots and owls and hundreds of other modern-appearing animals lived alongside dinosaurs such as Triceratops and T. Rex. When was the last time you saw a parrot sitting on the back of a T. Rex or a boa constrictor curled at his feet?