Newly Discovered Fossil Bird Fills in Gap Between Dinosaurs and Modern Fliers
If you were ever curious about how we got from pterodactyls to pigeons, Smithsonian explains.
Birds are ancient creatures. Every hawk, sparrow, pigeon and penguin alive today has ancestral roots dating back to the Jurassic, when the first birds were just another form of raptor-like dinosaur. Dozens of fossils uncovered and described during the last three decades have illuminated much of this deep history, but the rock record can still yield surprises. A fossil recently found in Japan is one such unexpected avian that raises questions about what else may await discovery.
The skeleton, named Fukuipteryx prima, was described by Fukui Prefectural University paleontologist Takuya Imai and colleagues today in Nature Communications Biology. And while numerous birds of similar geologic age have been named in the past few decades, the details of these bones and where they were found have experts a-flutter.
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