Sunday, July 21, 2024

Bird-like dinosaur fossils discovered in China


In China they have found some dinosaur fossils belonging to a new species: this forces us to reconsider our knowledge of bird evolution.

Understand what lies behind it A close connection between dinosaurs and birds It has always been one of paleontology’s most important challenges: now the discovery of new fossils could prompt scientists to reconsider their current knowledge about bird evolution. In fact, the remains of a never-before-seen dinosaur, which looks incredibly similar to birds, have appeared in China. what is he talking about?

Find ancient dinosaur fossils

It is now certain that birds evolved from dinosaurs, but there are still many uncertainties to be resolved regarding evolution The ancient origins of birds. Perhaps the new discovery described in a study published in natureHe will be able to help scientists shed light on this topic: Last year, fossils of an unknown species of dinosaur were found in a remote swamp in southeastern China. Paleontologists called it FujianVinator MiracleAnalysis of the animal’s remains showed that it must have been a creature that closely resembled a bird that lived during the Jurassic period.

The fossil is headless and has only part of a tail, but a more in-depth study of its body and limbs shows several features. Similar to those found in other ancient birds. Paleontologists have discovered that this dinosaur did not have any specific body modifications that could have made it suitable for flight. For example, it had short shoulder blades and specialized grasping fingers as well Hind Really strange. It was actually very long, and the tibia was almost twice the size of the femur.

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For scientists, fujianventure So it had to be a Skilled runner Or alternatively, a skilled wader. In order to understand which of the two hypotheses is correct, it will be necessary to study the creature’s feet, which have not been preserved. If it is a swamp bird, we will be dealing with the first prehistoric specimen to have lived in a habitat of this type. “the fujianventure “It doesn’t look like any modern bird,” he said. Min Wanga paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and lead author of the study.

The new theory about the evolution of birds

In any way Discover these new fossils Could it change what we know about bird evolution? Let’s take a small step back: birds evolved from dinosaurs, and by developing the ability to fly, they ensured their survival in the event of an asteroid impact that struck Earth 66 million years ago, resulting in the extinction of their ground-bound “companions.” To this day, paleontologists believe that The first bird ever to exist He wasArcheopteryxIt is a specimen that lived 150 years ago and was found in Germany.

Discovery fujianventure However, it pushes scientists to do so Reconsider everything: It seems clear, in fact, that at the timeArcheopteryx Dinosaurs have already diversified into different types of birds. Unfortunately, shedding light on the evolutionary process of birds is not at all easy, also because there are very few fossil remains that can be studied. In fact, their hollow bones are not easily preserved and decompose quickly. “There are many, many things yet to be discovered. We have only scratched the surface of the anatomical and lifestyle diversity of these animals Bharat Anjan Bhullara paleontologist at Yale University.

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