Popular Science

This new, duck-like dinosaur is so wacky scientists thought it was fake

It's basically a killer swan with flippers, and we're absolutely in love with the idea.
Reconstruction of the amphibious bird-like dinosaur Halszkaraptor

Is it all a bunch of quackery?

Lukas Panzarin

When European scientists encountered their first platypus skeleton, they thought the duck-billed mammal must surely be a. "It naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means," English zoologist George Shaw wrote in 1799. The specimen looked like a attempt at a fake new species, destined for a low-budget freakshow collection.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science10 min read
Surfing’s Big Break
ONE OF THE BEST SURF SPOTS in the United States to practice aerial tricks is in central Texas, some 200 miles from the Gulf Coast. On a brisk December day at the BSR Surf Resort, Caroline Marks was ripping a front-side air reverse. Aquamarine water s
Popular Science10 min read
Our Checkered Past
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN challenging their wits since at least the third millennium BCE, when ancient Sumerians carved riddles into stone tablets. (Try this one, for example: “There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?”) Over tim
Popular Science1 min read
Explain Game Theory Like I’m 5
THREE SLICES OF FRESH APPLE PIE SIT ON THE kitchen counter, and you and a trio of buddies are drooling over them. What do you do? Try to grab a piece right away, and you risk a tussle with a pal who makes the same move. Hesitate, and you might get no