Chan, L. et al.
Paleontologists recently unearthed a trove of fossils from the bottom of a Wyoming lake with extraordinarily well-preserved avian remains that provide evidence for a popular theory: birds have never bothered bulking up their gams.
“They definitely worked on their upper bodies, check out the pectoral muscles on this guy,” said Orny Atkinson, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, pointing to a taxidermied crow. “But their legs are like a bundle of pine needles.”
“A leg workout is important,” said Dave Smith, a part-time physical trainer and full-time ostrich. “I never skip leg day. Sure, other birds can fly, but yesterday, I kicked a man to death. That’s way cooler.”
Atkinson agrees. “Look at the flamingo. Yes, they can fly and they’re majestic and their plumage makes it really easy to see them in traffic, but those legs. A child could break them with a rock. They shouldn’t. But they could.”
“The interesting thing,” said Atkinson, “is that birds with skinny legs still managed to find mates and make more of themselves to propagate the species, which offers some hope to human males who with skinny legs but a bulked up personality.”