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Jingmai O'Connor

Born: Los Angeles, California 1983
Connection to Illinois: O'Connor is a paleontologist who works as a curator at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Biography: Dr. Jingmai O’Connor is a paleontologist working at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Her research explores the evolution of flight in the Dinosauria, the dinosaur-bird transition, and the biology of stem-avians, not through any one aspect but exploring Paraves through feather origin and function, aerodynamics, reproduction, respiration, trophics, anatomy, systematics, ontogeny, taxonomy, histology, and other topics as exceptional specimens arise. O’Connor has done field work in the US, China, Mongolia, Romania, Canada, and South Africa. In addition to her children's book "When dinosaurs conquered the skies," she has published numerous research papers and book chapters.

  • When Dinosaurs Conquered the Skies WINNER, CHILDREN’S READING ROUND TABLE AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S NONFICTION, Society of Midland Authors Award, 2023

Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Children


Selected Titles

When Dinosaurs Conquered the Skies: The Incredible Story of Bird Evolution
ISBN: 0711275157 OCLC: 1303668461

words & pictures 2022

When Dinosaurs Conquered the Skies is an exquisitely illustrated exploration of how dinosaurs evolved flight and eventually became the birds we live with today.What are birds, and where did they come from? Discover fascinating facts about bird evolution, including:How the oldest bird fossils are about 150 million years old.That birds evolved from a group of meat-eating dinosaurs called theropods. That’s the same group that Tyrannosaurus Rex belonged to, although birds evolved from small theropods. How these ancient birds looked quite a lot like small, feathered dinosaurs and they had much in common. Their mouths still contained sharp teeth.That over time, birds lost their teeth and evolved beaks.And more! The story of bird evolution is fascinating, and When Dinosaurs Conquered the Skies explores this incredible history in a digestible, accessible way. This book from the successful Incredible Evolution series proves that fact can definitely be stranger and more exciting than fiction! Can you imagine coming face-to-face with a toothy pigeon?!Through digestible information and absorbing illustrations, young readers will be given an insight into how dinosaurs evolved flight and conquered the skies.This book is from the Incredible Evolution series, a fascinating, informative collection of books which examine the development of life on earth. Other titles available include: When Plants Took Over the Planet, When We Became Humans, and When the Whales Walked.