The 99 million-year-old amber hummingbird-sized dinosaur preserves skulls that paleontologists have found exceptionally well preserved.
Paleontologists have found an exceptionally well-preserved and delayed skull of a previously unknown bird-like dinosaur species in a piece of amber from the Cretaceous period of northern Myanmar.
Photographs, CT scans and explanatory images of the Oculudentavis khaungraaea sample:
- (A) Photograph of fragments of amber with the ventricles of the skull exposed; Scan
- (B) and drawing
- (C), left lateral view; Scan
- (d) and drawing
- (E), rostral view; Scan
- (F) and drawing
- (G), occipital view; Scan
- (Handmade photo
- (i), dorsal view. Abbreviations
The newly identified species called Oculudentavis khaungraae may represent the smallest known Mesozoic dinosaur in the fossil record. Its size is comparable to that of the smallest bird bee sparrow (Melisuga halene).
Amber preservation of curtebrates is rare, and it gives us a window into the world of dinosaurs at the lower end of the body-size spectrum, said Dr. Lars Schmitz, Claremont McKenna, a researcher at the Department of Science, WM. Keek of Scripps. And Pigitter College.
Its unique physical characteristics point to one of the smallest and oldest birds. A piece of amber just 31 x 20 x 8.5mm, including the skull of the Okudentevis Khangera, came from the Angbamo site near Tanhai in the Hukwan Valley in Kachin Province, Myanmar.
Dr. Schmitz and colleagues studied the characteristic features of the specimen with high-resolution synchrotron scans to determine how the skull differed from other bird-like dinosaur specimens.
They found that the shape and size of the eye bones suggested a complete lifestyle, but they also revealed striking similarities to the eyes of modern lizards.
The skull also shows a unique fusion pattern between various bone elements, as well as the appearance of the teeth. Oculudentevis khangraya.
The small sample size and unusual shape suggest a never-before-seen combination, the scientists said. The discovery represents a previously missing specimen from the fossil record and provides new implications for understanding bird evolution, demonstrating extreme miniaturization of avian body size in the evolutionary process.
Preserving samples also highlights the ability of amber deposits to reveal a minimal range of vertebral body size.
“No other group of live birds has species with an equally small skull in adults,” Drs. Schmitz said.
This discovery tells us that in the age of dinosaurs, we only see them as small vertebrates. Hummingbird-like dinosaurs found preserved in amber. The researchers described a small, bird-like skull discovered in amber, about 99 million years old.
Scientists have discovered a new species of bird-shaped dinosaur from skulls trapped in amber. The new species, he says, may represent the smallest Mesozoic dinosaur ever built. Researchers have described a small, bird-like skull discovered in amber, about 99 million years old, from northern Burma.
According to the findings published in the journal Nature, the length of the specimen’s skull is only 7.1 mm, indicating that the dinosaur was similar in size to bee sparrows, the smallest living bird. Its unique physical characteristics point to one of the smallest and oldest birds.
Lars Schmitz, associate professor of biology at the WMMK Science Department in the United States, said: “Amber preservation of vertebrates is rare, and it gives us a window into the world of dinosaurs at the lower end of the spectrum of the size of the Body.
Its unique physical characteristics point to one of the smallest and oldest birds. Researchers have named the animal Oculudantis khungrai. Oculudentavis means “teeth of the eye”, reflecting remarkable characteristics that give an idea of the animal’s lifestyle.
Its skull is dominated by a large lizard-like eye socket.
The eye socket has a narrow opening and provides only a small amount of light. A cast of Okludentavis (Han Xixin / PA). The researchers say this suggests it was suitable for being active in daylight conditions.
The lower and upper jaws have a greater number of sharp teeth, and the authors estimate that each jaw will have 29-30 teeth in total. Despite its small size, it suggests that the dinosaur was a predator and probably fed on small arthropods or invertebrates.
Professor Schmitz said: “No other group of living birds has species with an equally small skull in adults.
“This discovery tells us that in the age of dinosaurs, we only see them as small vertebrates.”
The smallest bird-shaped dinosaur trapped in amber 99 million years old in Myanmar. Amber is 99 million years old, with the skull of the small Oculudentavis bird almost entirely preserved inside.
The smallest bird known to scientists, which is the smallest bird, smaller than any bird, appears to be surrounded by 99-million-year-old amber and gripped with many claw teeth, with many strange symptoms.
Researchers reported Wednesday that the skull is about half an inch (14.25 mm) long, from a bird called Oculudentevis khungrae that now lived in northern Myanmar during the Cretaceous period.
Nothing of the rest of the body was preserved, but the researchers estimated that Oculudentevis weighed about 28 grams and was 5 centimeters long, including an imaginary bone tail.
“I was completely impressed,” paleontologist Jingmai O’Connor of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleontropology described his reaction to seeing the fossil in Beijing.
This is quite possibly the most beautifully preserved Mesozoic bird skull I have ever seen, and it is very strange. The Mesozoic era was the age of dinosaurs.
“I was amazed,” added Louis Chiape, a paleontologist and co-author of the study at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
O’Connor said Oculudentavis appears to be smaller than that of a bee sparrow, which until now is considered the smallest bird in the world. Oculudentavis shares some similarities, different in size, with hummingbirds, which, like all modern birds, eat tooth loss and nectar.
Many Mesozoic birds had teeth, but Oculudentavis had the majority: about 100, a conical shape and sharp ridges at the edges. Oculudentavis possibly hunts pests. Unlike omingudentis, hummingbirds have long beaks.
Birds evolved from small winged dinosaurs about 150 million years ago. Oculudentavis probably shows an almost incomprehensible size difference between members of the dinosaur lineage, unlike the contemporary South American long-necked, column-legged Argentine dinosaur at distances of 90 tons and 35 meters.
O’Connor, who led the research published in the journal Nature, said: “The diversity of sizes hints at the amazing biology of dinosaurs, which is capable of sustaining such diversity.”
O’Connor said his eyes resemble those of an owl, in which the bones of the eye form a cone. Unlike birds of prey with forward-facing eyes and binocular vision, the eyes in the occludentavis look sideways and drop from the head, allowing good depth perception.
The small size of the perforation of the eye bones indicates that the occidentalis was active during the day.
Amber, the bark of a fossil tree, has preserved many small creatures, including insects, lizards, and frogs.
Amber is amazing as a preservative medium, said O’Connor. If the animal doesn’t decompose long before it becomes trapped in the resin, preservation is unprecedented.
All soft tissue is preserved in three dimensions, like a window into an ancient world.
The findings are published in the journal Nature.