New fossil discovery might reveal the ancestors of present-day birds

Birds have come down from dinosaurs is what we know till today through the fossils which we have studied and found. But there was no evidence of the more evolved form of them as all were cleaned out due to the asteroid that put an end to all creatures during the age of the dinosaurs. But now a fossil found at a quarry in the Netherlands Belgium border gives us a glimpse to a past of 67 million years development of birds. Dr. Daniel Field from the University of Cambridge said that “this is a unique specimen we have been calling it the wonder chicken. And it is the only one near to the early age back then.”

About the fossil

The fossil is named Asteriornis maastrichtensis, which is from the Greek Asteria goddess who is a falling star and changes into a quail. The bird weighs less than 400 gm. It can be the ancestors of the present-day ducks, chickens, and other similar birds. It has long slender legs and was found near shallow sea regions of days back then. So it could be a seaside bird.

Birds are an important group of living animals as they are gifted with the ability to fly. They form an important part in an ecosystem ranging from seed dispersal to scavenging a carcass. Such an important member’s evolution is important for us to explore. Such exploration will not only enable us to understand birds but also their ancestors that coexisted with dinosaurs.

Source: BBC

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