A 100-million-year-old piece of amber in Myanmar was found to have an almost complete bird fossil inside it from the times of dinosaurs. This is the most complete bird fossil from that time as of yet.
The Bird Fossil
A 100-million-year-old bird fossil was found in an amber stone in Myanmar, dating from the times of dinosaurs. The bird fossil was almost complete, containing the head, wings, neck, feet and tail.
The bird was reportedly just “a few days old” when it was caught in the amber. Scientists believe that it must have fallen into the sap of a conifer tree, where it got stuck and eventually fossilized. Ryan McKellar from Canada’s Royal Saskatchewan Museum and among those who wrote about the discovery, said that birds of its species probably hatch on the ground, then climb to trees, which makes them vulnerable to getting stuck in tree sap.
“It’s the most complete and detailed view we’ve ever had,” said McKellar.“Seeing something this complete is amazing. It’s just stunning.”
To the disappointment to Jurassic Park fans, no usable genetic material was found in the stone.
What Could They Tell About the Bird?
According to McKellar, the fossil makes it look as though the bird’s skin and flesh were preserved- showing the incredible detail in the find. The stone also managed to preserve a bit of the colour from the feathers. McKellar said that “they were little brown jobbies.”
The bird was a part of a bird group nicknamed the “opposite birds.” They lived among our modern birds’ ancestors, and so have some similar features. They had “socket-and-ball joints in their shoulders” similar to our modern birds. However, they had teeth and jaws instead of beaks. However at the time, even our modern birds’ ancestors hadn’t evolved to grow beaks either.
Opposite birds were pretty diverse and abundant at the time. However, they went extinct along with dinosaurs 66m years ago.