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US News Baby Bird Fossil is One of The Smallest Ever Discovered

17:21  05 march  2018
17:21  05 march  2018 Source:   europe.newsweek.com

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Scientists have unveiled one of the smallest bird fossils ever discovered . Fossils of birds from this time period are rare, with baby fossils seen as “the rarest of the rare”.

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a bird sitting on top of a body of water: 3_2_Fossil baby bird © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 3_2_Fossil baby bird A tiny, 127-million-year-old fossilized baby bird has given scientists a rare window into avian evolution. Less than two inches long, the specimen is one of the smallest ever discovered from the age of dinosaurs.

Clues to secrets of the bird’s short life—how much attention it needed from its parents and whether it could fly—are held in its tiny bones.

 Critical stage of bone formation

The hatchling from the Enantiornithes group of prehistoric birds died at a critical stage of bone formation. Frozen in time, it shines a light on avian evolution as a whole, researchers said.

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This makes it one of the smallest avian fossils ever discovered from the Mesozoic Era. The critter fossilized during a little-seen, yet critical stage in the skeletal formation of a bird . "The stage of this fossil is important because fossils of baby birds from the Age of Dinosaurs provide key information

Scientists discover the most complete bird fossil from the dinosaur era ever found encased in 99 A bird that lived about 100 million years ago has been discovered in Myanmar Its 2.4 inch frame was fossilized in amber

"The evolutionary diversification of birds has resulted in a wide range of hatchling developmental strategies and important differences in their growth rates,” researcher Fabien Knoll explained in a statement. “By analysing bone development we can look at a whole host of evolutionary traits."

Knoll, from the University of Manchester, U.K., led a study team evaluating the fossil. Their results were published Monday in Nature Communications.

Less than three ounces 

The tiny bird measures less than two inches long and would have weighed only three ounces at its death. After millions of years in the Early Cretaceous deposits of Las Hoyas, Spain, the fossilized bird was missing only its feet, hands and the tip of its tail.

Dinosaur-Era Bird Found Trapped in Ancient Amber

  Dinosaur-Era Bird Found Trapped in Ancient Amber It was almost made into jewelry.The amber didn’t contain an entire bird—only part of the skull, the spine, a wing, a foot, and a pelvis—the rest had been cut off by a local miner cutting and polishing the piece of amber so it would look better to buyers. Furthermore, something had squashed and distorted the animal before tree resin encased it. However, as tree resin has such incredible preservative properties, those body parts contained much more information than simple fossilized bones would have.

Image caption The baby bird may have had feathered plumage. Scientists have unveiled one of the smallest bird fossils ever discovered . Researchers from the UK, Spain, Sweden and the US used state- of - the -art technology to study its fossilised bones.

Credit: Brian Choo. A newly discovered distant relative of the duck has just been hailed as an ancestor of the biggest bird the world has ever known by a group of Australian palaeontologists. They say Dromornis murrayi, which at 250kg was originally the ' baby ' of the ancient 'Mihirung' family of

The team used synchrotron radiation to image the bird at an extremely-detailed submicron level. They found the hatchling’s sternum was mostly cartilage and had not become the solid bone needed for flight.

a close up of a book: 3_5_Fossil bird © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 3_5_Fossil bird

Bone formation patterns show the bird’s bones were still developing. However, this may not have held the cute little creature back. Much like modern birds, ancient avians are likely to have grown up with diverse developmental strategies.

Today, for example, love birds rely on their parents from birth, while chickens are highly independent or “precocial.”

Study co-author Luis Chiappe from the LA Museum of Natural History added: “This new discovery, together with others from around the world, allows us to peek into the world of ancient birds that lived during the age of dinosaurs.

“It is amazing to realise how many of the features we see among living birds had already been developed more than 100 million years ago.”

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