Piecing together the history of our backyard dinosaurs

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When I was a kid, it seemed simple: T. rex, the ultimate dinosaur, was just as it later appeared in Jurassic Park, covered in teeth, claws, and reptilian skin. It and all of its kin were also dead.

But even back then, it wasn't that simple. Thomas Henry Huxley, one of Darwin's earliest supporters, had a good look at Archaeopteryx and concluded that birds must have evolved from dinosaurs. Today, we know that's simply an understatement. Birds are dinosaurs, and when we...

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