The discovery of a 127-million-year-old fossil in northeastern China is filling an important evolutionary gap between modern birds and the winged, dinosaur-like creatures that came before them.
The fossilized remains of a tiny bird that lived 62 million years ago suggests that birds burst out of the evolutionary gates once their dinosaur cousins were gone, rapidly diversifying into most of the lineages we see today.
An exquisitely preserved fossil found in China still contains the original biological compounds that gave a 130-million-year-old bird its shading and color. The find extends the timeframe in which scientists thought these substances can be preserved.
Finding ancient bugs trapped in amber is a relatively common occurrence, but the recent discovery of two ancient bird wings fossilized in Burmese amber is unprecedented. These 3D fossils—which still contain feather arrangements and traces of soft tissue—are simply amazing.
Introducing Archaeornithura meemannae, a newly discovered species that is now the oldest-known member of an evolutionary branch that includes all living birds.