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Max Utsler, associate professor of journalism, was interviewed Feb. 22 on Fox Business Channel about his research on NASCAR TV commercials. Utsler found NASCAR drivers and/or cars were featured in nearly half the commercials at the Daytona 500. Utsler is conducting the researchE with Stuart Esrock, a professor at the University of Louisville.


Instead of debating the childhood riddle about whether the chicken or the egg came first, the real question to ask is whether dinosaurs came first -- or birds.

The question landed two KU paleontologists in the midst of a scientific debate and the focus of a recent episode of the nationwide public television program "NOVA."

The "The Four-Winged Dinosaur" episode explored what makes the theories about avian evolution so complicated. It prominently featured the work of Larry D. Martin, professor and curator of paleontology, and David Burnham, dinosaur preparator, and the model they created of a microraptor, a four-winged animal about the size of a goose.

In part, the debate hinges on whether evidence supports the theory that animals developed flight as ground-dwelling animals, as the majority of paleontologists assert. Martin and Burnham theorize that flight originated above, in the trees. Such animals would have been gliders, and they said the fossil of a microraptor -- now on loan to KU from China -- supports their theory.

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