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Palaeontology

Ancient fossil bird found trapped in amber

By T.K. Randall
June 9, 2017 · Comment icon 1 comment

Enantiornithes went extinct alongside the dinosaurs. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Nobu Tamura
The incredibly well-preserved hatchling is believed to date back 99 million years to the Cretaceous Era.
Discovered during a mining operation at Hukawng Valley in northern Myanmar, the bird, which belonged to a now-extinct group known as the enantiornithes, is thought to have been only a few days old when it became hopelessly trapped in the sticky sap of a tree.

The specimen has been nicknamed "Belone" after an amber-hued Oriental skylark.

The fossil has offered scientists a unique glimpse in to the past and an opportunity to learn more about the ways in which enantiornithes differed from today's birds.

"[I thought we had] just a pair of feet and some feathers before it underwent CT imaging," said research team co-leader Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences.

"It was a big, big, big surprise after that. The surprise continued when we started examining the distribution of feathers and and realized that there were translucent sheets of skin that connected many of the body regions appearing in the CT scan data."

Source: National Geographic | Comments (1)




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Comment icon #1 Posted by Noxasa 7 years ago
Wow, amazing that fossilized plant resin can keep these animals so well preserved for a 100 million years.  Just amazing!!!


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