10 years ago a fossilized bird that size of your little finger was discovered at the bottom of a lake in Europe, but today it’s been discovered that this bird could have been roaming the earth 127 million years ago during the time of the dinosaurs; the Mesozoic Era.
After scientific analysis it’s been claimed that these prehistoric flyers would have looked similar to the modern day birds that we’re used to seeing, but with teeth and clawed fingers at the end of their wings, despite being just two inches long and weighing a mere three ounces. This new discovery puts this bird at the smallest Mesozoic avian fossil known.
The importance of this study, led by University of Manchester senior researcher Fabien Knoll, lies in the fact that the hatchling could provide information about how ancient birds developed over centuries. Although it’s difficult to identify the species as it’s likely that the hatchling died very young, the team of scientists were able to use technology to zoom in to see the detailed microstructures of the young bird’s bones to understand the skeleton make-up further. Ryan McKellar, curator of invertebrate paleontology at Canada’s Royal Saskatchewan Museum, said, “It gives some hint as to flight ability. It would have been a weak flyer probably, if at all.”
The study’s co-author Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute at the LA Natural History Museum, said, “There are spectacular finds that are coming out of many places. We’re very fortunate to be living now, from that perspective.” Hopefully discovers like this will continue to be uncovered so that we can further understand the development of birds and get an insight into their evolution.
I’m Jess Murray, wildlife conservationist, photographer and writer. Follow my Facebook page and Instagram account to be part of the journey. I like to document the natural world and create awareness through my writing so that your future can be sustainable and positive.
Image Copyright: AlienCat / 123RF Stock Photo