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Bird Found Preserved in Amber

Picture a bird hatching from an egg and falling out of the nest in Burma. It landed on a part of the tree that had sap oozing from it and became stuck. More sap fell on the hatchling until it was completely encased in sap. Skip ahead 99 million years, and that bird, now a fossil encased in amber, was found and taken to the Hupoge Amber Museum in Tengchong City, China.

Unlike modern birds, this newborn hatchling is from a now-extinct branch of the family tree called Enantiornithines. Researchers say they would have looked a lot like modern-day avians, with the exception of some added features such as claws on their wing tips and small teeth tucked away in their beaks.

Read the article about this find at BGR and the scientific paper here. -via reddit

(Image credit: Chung-tat Cheung, Ming Bai, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

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