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Mummified precocial bird wings in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber [Nature communications]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Our knowledge of Cretaceous plumage is limited by the fossil record itself : compression fossils surrounding skeletons lack the finest morphological details and seldom preserve visible traces of colour, while discoveries in amber have been disassociated from their source animals. Here we report the osteology, plumage and pterylosis of two exceptionally preserved theropod wings from Burmese amber, with vestiges of soft tissues. The extremely small size and osteological development of the wings, combined with their digit proportions, strongly suggests that the remains represent precocial hatchlings of enantiornithine birds.(...)

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