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Thursday, March 22, 2018

In the amber discovered in the wings of the birds that lived with dinosaurs

A group of paleontologists from China found in amber are two very small wings. The bird, which these wings belonged to, lived on the Earth nearly 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. In those days the planet was still wandering dinosaurs. The wings are very successful have survived to the present day, enabling specialists to study them and to compare the feathers of modern birds with those possessed by their ancestors.

photo: Sergei Ivanov

Discovered on the territory of Myanmar, the wings are a very valuable find, experts say. The amber preserved the feathers, skin fragments and bones of ancient birds, which allows you to specify how looked ancient wings, and some feathers “correspond” to one or other of their sites. Much has been learn about the structure of the wings of the Cretaceous period, which, as it turned out, overall not too much different from the modern one.

In the past to judge what were the feathers of ancient birds in the period from 145 million to 66 million years ago, could only in their two-dimensional prints on sedimentary rocks, and rare previously found in amber specimens, representing individual feathers, that wing was not connected. The result discovered the feathers are not even allowed to know who was their “owner”.

It is assumed that in the last seconds of the life of a bird, the remains of which are found by scientists, wanted to be free from tar, which was stuck to her wings. This resin later and became amber, in which the remains were discovered. Most likely, it was still a chick and he was smaller than a Hummingbird. Scientists also suggest that he belonged to a group enantiornithine birds early in its class, the beak had teeth and wings and claws. Apparently, the members of his species very quickly become independent — at least, some of the features of the skeleton indicate that the specimen was found has not yet reached adult age, but is characteristic for Chicks “gun” she had quite a developed feathers.

His research scientists published in the journal Nature Communications.

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