Oldest modern bird species


13 Apr

A fossil found in a Belgian limestone quarry could be the oldest bird species discovered so far. Birds are descended from dinosaurs, but precisely when they evolved into birds like the ones alive today has been difficult to answer, due to a lack of fossil data. The newly discovered - and well-preserved - fossil skull should help fill in some of the gaps.

Living just before the asteroid strike that wiped out giant dinosaurs, the unique fossil, from about 67 million years ago, gives a glimpse into the dawn of modern birds.

The fossil bird has been named Asteriornis maastrichtensis, after Asteria, a Greek goddess of falling stars who turns into a quail. It was found in a quarry on the Netherlands-Belgium border.

 

source: www.bbc.com

More info at: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00766-2

 

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