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Michael Bruce Habib, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Cell & Neurobiology
Cell and Neurobiology
BMT 403 1333 San Pablo Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 2083


Dr. Michael Habib is an Assistant Professor in the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a Research Associate in the Dinosaur Institute at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Michael received his bachelors and masters degrees in biology from the University of Virginia and his PhD in Functional Anatomy from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Michael is a paleontologist and biomechanist who reconstructs the anatomy, physiology, and motion of extinct animals. Michael is most widely recognized for his work on giant pterosaurs (the largest flying animals in Earth’s history), feathered dinosaurs, and the origin of flight in birds. He has ongoing research projects related to the mechanics of pterosaurs, birds, titanosaurs, and mosasaurs. He is the current expedition leader for the Augustyn Dinosaur Expeditions of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.


Popular Science Magazine: Brilliant 10, 2014

USC Keck School of Medicine: Year I Faculty Teaching Award, 2014

Discover Magazine: Top 100 Science Stories of 2009, 2010

USC Keck School of Medicine: Year II Faculty Teaching Award, 2015


Marchi D, Ruff CB, Capobianco A, Rafferty KL, Habib MB, Patel BA. The locomotion of Babakotia radofilai inferred from epiphyseal and diaphyseal morphology of the humerus and femur. J Morphol. 2016 Sep; 277(9):1199-218. View in: PubMed

Dececchi TA, Larsson HC, Habib MB. The wings before the bird: an evaluation of flapping-based locomotory hypotheses in bird antecedents. PeerJ. 2016; 4:e2159. View in: PubMed

Hone D, Henderson DM, Therrien F, Habib MB. A specimen of Rhamphorhynchus with soft tissue preservation, stomach contents and a putative coprolite. PeerJ. 2015; 3:e1191. View in: PubMed

Castelblanco L, Habib M, Stein DJ, de Quadros A, Cohen SM, Noordzij JP. Singing voice handicap and videostrobolaryngoscopy in healthy professional singers. J Voice. 2014 Sep; 28(5):608-13. View in: PubMed

Han G, Chiappe LM, Ji SA, Habib M, Turner AH, Chinsamy A, Liu X, Han L. A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance. Nat Commun. 2014; 5:4382. View in: PubMed

Chiappe LM, Zhao B, O'Connor JK, Chunling G, Wang X, Habib M, Marugan-Lobon J, Meng Q, Cheng X. A new specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Hongshanornis longicresta: insights into the aerodynamics and diet of a basal ornithuromorph. PeerJ. 2014; 2:e234. View in: PubMed

Fabian de Kok-Mercado, M Habib, T Phelps, L Gregg, and P Gailloud. Adaptations of the Owl's Cervical & Cephalic Arteries in Relation to Extreme Neck Rotation. Science. 2013; 339(6119):514-515. View in: PubMed

Hone DWE, Habib MB, Lamanna MC. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of Solnhofen (Upper Jurassic, Germany) pterosaur specimens at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Annals of Carnegie Musuem. 2013; 82(2):149-175. View in: PubMed

Habib M. Constraining the Air Giants: Limits on size in flying animals as an example of constraint-based biomechanical theories of form. Biological Theory. 2013; 8(3):245-252. View in: PubMed

Dyke GJ, Wang X, Habib MB. Fossil plotopterid seabirds from the Eo-Oligocene of the Olympic Peninsula (Washington State, USA): descriptions and functional morphology. PLoS One. 2011; 6(10):e25672. View in: PubMed

Witton MP, Habib MB. On the size and flight diversity of giant pterosaurs, the use of birds as pterosaur analogues and comments on pterosaur flightlessness. PLoS One. 2010; 5(11):e13982. View in: PubMed

Habib M. The structural mechanics and evolution of aquaflying birds. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2010; 99(4):687-698. View in: PubMed

Jones KE, Bielby J, Cardillo M … Habib M (15/24) … Purvis A. PanTHERIA: A species-level database of life-history, ecology, and geography of extant and recently extinct mammals (Data Paper). Ecology. 2009; 90(9):2648. View in: PubMed

Habib M. Comparative evidence for quadrupedal launch in pterosaurs. Zitteliana. 2008; B28:161-168. View in: PubMed

Habib M, Ruff CB. The effects of locomotion on the structural characteristics of avian limb bones. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2008; 153:601-624. View in: PubMed

Bininda-Emonds OR, Jones KE, Price SA, Grenyer R, Cardillo M, Habib M, Purvis A, Gittleman JL. Supertrees are a necessary not-so-evil: a comment on Gatesy et al. Syst Biol. 2003 Oct; 52(5):724-9. View in: PubMed

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