Wonderchicken, a new species of ancient bird has been identified. A new species of ancient bird has been identified with nearly complete skulls, preserved at three points, and related bones found in Belgium.
Detailed analysis of the skull suggests that it combines land flow and waterfowl characteristics, suggesting that the bird is close to the last common ancestor of modern chickens and ducks.
Asteriornis maastrichtensis is the first modern bird of the dinosaur age to be found in the northern hemisphere. Image by Philip Krzymski.
Named after The Wonderchicken and scientific name for Asterionis maastrichtensis, the prehistoric bird lived 66.75 million years ago (Cretaceous period).
Asteriornis maastrichtensis is the first modern dinosaur-era bird to be found in the northern hemisphere. Its fossil remains were discovered in a limestone quarry near the Belgian-Dutch border. An evolutionist from the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University.
Daniel Field said:
- The moment I first saw what was under the rock was the most exciting moment in my scientific life.
- It is one of the best preserved fossil bird skulls of any age, from anywhere in the world.
- When we saw it, knowing that it was at such a critical moment in Earth’s history.
We almost had to pinch ourselves. Finding the skull has ruined my mind. Without cutting-edge CT scans, we would never have known that we had the world’s oldest modern bird skull, said co-author Juan Benito.
A researcher at the University’s Department of Earth Sciences. from Cambridge and the Rudd Biology Department at the University of Bath and biochemistry.
The skull of Asteriornis maastrichtensis is clearly recognizable as a modern bird. It adds a number of characteristics to the group, including live chickens and ducks, a group called Gallolencera.
The origins of the variety of live birds are shrouded in mystery, other than knowing that modern birds were born sometime at the end of the dinosaur age. We have very little fossil evidence of the asteroid until it hits, said the co-author and PhD.
Student Albert Chen, also from the University of Cambridge and the University of Bath. This fossil provides our first direct glimpse of what modern birds would have liked during the early stages of their evolutionary history.
The fact that Asteriornis maastrichtensis was discovered in Europe is another thing that makes it so extraordinary. The Late Cretaceous fossil record of birds from Europe is extremely rare.
The discovery of Asteriornis maastrichtensis provides some earlier evidence and that Europe was an important area in the early evolutionary history of modern birds, “said the author, Dr. Said John Jagt, a researcher at the Natural History Museum in Maastricht.
The Netherlands, this fossil tells us that at least some modern birds at first were fairly small-bodied, ground-dwelling birds that lived on the seashore. Asteriornis maastrichtensis now provides us with a search image for future fossil discoveries.
It is expected to enter a new era of fossils, helping to clarify how, when, and where modern birds evolved. We are not sure how it would have known, but a fossil bird paleontologist is calling it “Wonderchicken“.
Which has the distinction of being the first modern example of birds known to science.
The fossil comes from an entire skull that dates back at least a million years to an asteroid, triggering a mass extinction event in the late Cretaceous period, annihilating the large dinosaurs entirely.
Paleontologists have described the skull and the bird to which it belonged in detail, in a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Using X-rays and CT scans.
The researchers were able to identify a 66.7 million-year-old bird skull that was hidden in limestone.
Surprisingly, Wonderchicken shares with today’s chickens and ducks, hence its nickname. The study provides new clues to how the Wonderchicken, Asterionis mastictensis, survived the asteroid, while the large dinosaurs were destroyed.
The time of the discovery, which took place in a limestone mine in Belgium, is lead author Daniel Field, a researcher at the University of Cambridge.
The moment I first saw what was under the rock was the most exciting moment in my scientific career, Field said in a statement.