There is no history repeating but a little piece of history revealing itself, with scientists discovering the greatest ancestors of modern birds. The Sichakou Basin in Hebei, China, hosted two bird fossils who have lain untouched for more than 130 million years.
The discovery was announced in a Nature Communications paper released this Tuesday.
By now, the oldest bird ancestor known to human race was no less than 125 million years old. Researchers managed to go back 5 million years earlier and located what seems to be a massive proof of evidence about the life and anatomy of the extinct dinosaurs and modern birds as well.
These fossils are pretty much well preserved, presenting consistent details. They are considered to be the oldest members of ancestor family of birds known as Ornithuromorpha, the evolutionary branch that hosts all living birds.
Researchers are now looking in praise and pride at the species that will offer relevant evidence about our nowadays feathered animals. Allegedly, the two beautiful animals are very similar to the modern and evolved bird species, resembling to these ones both in feather arrangements and consistency, shape and eating habits.
The fossils have intact plumage and scientists reported that these beauties had their entire body covered in feathers, except legs and feet.
The complexity of plumage evolution can clearly be observed when looking at the two specimens who came as a surprise.
With solely the feet and legs feather-free, this is clear demonstration that the oldest ancestors of birds have their origins in a semi-aquatic environment. Archaeornithura meemannae were used to searching for precious food in lakes, swamps or other watery environments.
Birds are the last living remnants of the dinosaurs and every proof of evidence with reference to birds can make researchers understand the evolution of dinosaurs into the birds of today.
This particular species of birds has more in common with the birds found nowadays than any other ancestor found in the past. As very complex evolutionary details were discovered in the anatomy of Archaeornithura meemannae, researchers assume there might be an even older ancestor of these animals which has not yet been discovered.
With no more than 15 cm tall, delicate and colorful plumage along with anatomical particularities, the so called Archaeornithura meemannae represents one of the greatest surprises of modern biology.
Image Source: motherboard.vice