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Fossil of a 99-year-old bird with unusually long fingers science



The fossilized remains of a strange, ancient bird that had middle fingers longer than its lower legs were found in amber lumps of Myanmar.

The elongated finger resembles those observed with lemurs and wood lizards. It offers an unusual lifestyle for some of the earliest birds that lived with dinosaurs, researchers say.

known earlier, "said JingMai O'Connor, a spine paleontologist and co-author of the study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. the size of a sparrow, a new species, naming it Elektorornis chenguangi . The first part of the name is translated as an "amber bird". This is the first type of bird that has been recognized by amber

The bird's foot has four fingers, the third one is 20% longer than the bottom of the bird and 41

% longer than its second finger. the bird to the only other known species that has such disproportionately long figures: ay-ay, a type of lemur that uses its elongated fingers to squeeze larvae and insects from the trunks of the trees. Researchers believe that Elektorornis may have used his toes for similar purposes. fingers to cling to the branches more easily, as seen in climbing lizards

Along with its unusually long fingers, it is believed that the bird wore teeth and nails on its wings and may have primitive feathers. He lived in mangrove forests near the sea, along with lizards, snakes and frogs.

The bird's foot found in a lump of amber lump from the Hunan Valley in Myanmar in 2014 was originally considered by traders to belong to a lizard, but O'Connor's team quickly identified it as a leg of an ancient bird.

The Worse Survey, published in Current Biology, included CT-scanning amber to get a 3D leg reconstruction. The model is compared to 20 other extinct bird species and 62 existing ones to fully identify its unique form. There are many ancient animal remains in Myanmar amber. Last year another team of scientists discovered the remains of an ancient proto-spider wrapped in amber. The spider had a tail twice as long as its body, which could be moved from one side to the other to find predators. to better understand the way the bird has been adapted to the environment, for example by using camouflage feathers.

Daniel Field, a Cambridge University spaniel palaeontologist who did not participate in the study, said: "The strange proportions At the foot of Elektorornis they emphasize how unpredictable the evolutionary history of birds is. "He describes the fossil as extremely well preserved. Without these fossils, "we will never have direct evidence of the fictional, deep evolutionary history of birds," he said.


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