After seeing this photo from the New York Times, I think anyone worth their genome would argue that “heritage” turkeys owe a genetic debt to dinosaurs. In fact, a theory has long been advanced that birds don’t just resemble dinosaurs, they are dinosaurs. The Dinobuzz page at the University of California Museum of Paleontology elucidates:
Ask your average paleontologist who is familiar with the phylogeny of vertebrates and they will probably tell you that yes, birds (avians) are dinosaurs. Using proper terminology, birds are avian dinosaurs; other dinosaurs are non-avian dinosaurs, and (strange as it may sound) birds are technically considered reptiles. Overly technical? Just semantics? Perhaps, but still good science. In fact, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of birds being the descendants of a maniraptoran dinosaur, probably something similar (but not identical) to a small dromaeosaur.
So, consider that this Thanksgiving. The poultry on your plate is probably something similar (but not identical) to a small dromaeosaur. And it’s a reptile. Yum. Kind of makes one’s appetite go the way of the dino, or dodo, or whatever… Pass the Tofurky.