13 Junio 2017 10:56
Scientists uncover the best-preserved specimen ever found
The most complete bird preserved encased in Amber uncovered to date. This is how researchers in China, Canada and the United States have described the finding of a fossil of a prehistoric bird in Myanmar (Burma). A small specimen of an enantiornithe, an extinct group of flying birds, frozen for eternity in transparent amber.
The finding, published in the journal Gondwana Research, reveals a fossil that dates back to 99 million years ago, complete with head, neck, wings, tail and feet.
The specimen’s proportions and plumage enabled the scientists to determine the bird would have been just a few days old when it got trapped in the tree sap.
The animal’s plumage has led researchers to believe that it had the capacity for flight, which is what may have caused its death. The specimen, which has been named ‘Belone’, preserves both the bird’s bones and soft tissue.
The enantiornithes are closely related to modern birds. But unlike these, the enantiornithes had teeth, claws on their wings and a different arrangement for the ankle bones.
The scientists, who have been exploring the region of Myanmar since 2014, had previously found fossils of two other enantiornithes, but which only preserved the wings. They also found a dinosaur tail in December last year.
According to the scientists, the new finding will help to better understand the evolutionary secrets of birds.