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Beautifully preserved feathers belonged to tiny flying dinosaurs

Beautifully preserved feathers belonged to tiny flying dinosaurs

New Scientist

Image: Lida Xing China University of Geosciences, Beijin/ Ryan McKellar Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, Canada

Around 99 million years ago, these tiny dinosaurs had a sticky encounter. Today, their feathered wings look almost exactly as they did when they became stuck in resin.

Lida Xing at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, who has led an analysis of the two similar partial amber fossils, says these dinosaurs may only have been 3.5 centimetres in length. Their size suggests they were probably juveniles.

The wings are so well preserved it’s possible to tell they were from Enantiornithes – a cousin group to today’s birds. Although this group has a different shoulder structure from birds, their flight feathers are nearly identical, suggesting they flew in the same way birds do today. Read more on newscientist.com…