Prehistoric baby bird could help shed light on evolution
Tehran (KNA) - The skeleton of a tiny prehistoric baby bird may provide clues to scientists learning how avian species first evolved, a new study says.
Dating back to the Mesozoic Era (250-65 million years ago) the chick belongs to a group of early birds called the Enantiornithes, and is one of the smallest bird fossils ever discovered from that era.
Measuring less 2in (5cm) across - smaller than most adults' little fingers - the little bird was discovered at the Las Hoyas fossil site in Spain.
The researchers who analysed the bird's skeleton found that it died shortly after its birth, which meant that the fossil held clues about the bird's early development.
Luis Chiappe, a co-author of the study from the LA Museum of Natural History, said: "This new discovery, together with others from around the world, allows us to peek into the world of ancient birds that lived during the age of dinosaurs.
"It is amazing to realise how many of the features we see among living birds had already been developed more than 100 million years ago."