SHERIDAN — A lecture set for 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Mars Agriculture Center will focus on feathered dinosaurs.

Russell Hawley will present the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

Hawley is an education specialist at the Casper College Tate Museum.

Ever since the late 19th century, it has been suspected that the ancestry of birds lay within the Dinosauria. But the evolution of this idea suffered setbacks on its way to the near universal acceptance in the scientific community that it enjoys today.

The lecture will look at the various fossil finds that helped piece together the story of bird origins, as well as clues from molecular biology and embryology that have shed light on bird origins and relationships. Finally, the lecture will look at how the vertebrate family tree has been redesigned by the new technique of cladistics, and show that, according to the rules of modern taxonomy, birds are actually feathered dinosaurs.

The Mars Agriculture Center is located on the Sheridan College campus at 1 Whitney Way.