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Mystery bird-like footprints are 60 million years older than the earliest birds


Still Waters

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An ancient ornithological mystery is the subject of a new paper that looked at fossil tracks made by unknown ancient animals dating back as far as the Late Triassic. They are distinctly bird-like, which doesn’t sound too strange – until you take into account that, at 210 million years old, some of them predate the oldest known true bird bones by a cool 60 million years.

If the tracks weren’t made by birds, who was strutting around on these bird-like feet? It feeds into the murky emergence of birds we’re still learning a lot about, as while we know that birds evolved from dinosaurs, exactly when and from which species still isn’t known for certain.

https://www.iflscience.com/mystery-bird-like-footprints-are-60-million-years-older-than-the-earliest-birds-71777

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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