Read our COVID-19 research and news.

Ming Bai, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

This baby bird, trapped in amber, lived alongside the dinosaurs

Depending on your constitution, you may thrill or shiver at the sight of an insect frozen in a chunk of amber—so just imagine if it were half of a bird. Researchers say they have found the most complete bird ever encased in Burmese amber—a tiny hatchling that lived 99 million years ago, National Geographic reports. The baby bird was an enantiornithean, a group of birds that, like the dinosaurs, went extinct 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period. The specimen contained most of its skull and neck, as well as part of a wing and a hind limb (shown) and some of the soft tissue of the tail—giving researchers the best glimpse yet into the plumage of these ancient birds, they report in Gondwana Research. Indeed, amber is justly prized by paleontologists for its ability to preserve feathery details: Just last year, the same group of researchers reported finding a stunning feathered dinosaur tail at a Myanmar amber market

Latest News