Newly Discovered Fossil Fills in Gap Between Dinosaurs and Modern Birds

A skeleton from the Cretaceous found in Japan reveals an early bird with a tail nub resembling the avians of today.

 

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.

 

 

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