0160 Confuciusornis


Well, it’s time to add another item to that long list you’re keeping of Things China Had First. This time it’s birds. More specifically, one prehistoric bird called confuciusornis sanctus. Or holy Confucius bird. Though it is younger by about 10 million years than archaeopteryx, holder of the Earliest Avian Ancestor title, it belongs on the list because of one important distinguishing characteristic: it is the first bird ancestor with a horny toothless beak along the lines of those sported by modern birds. Also, thanks to confuciusornis and the many bird fossils that have been unearthed in China since, paleontologists have new evidence that flight evolved from the trees down and not from the ground up. Holy Confucius bird, Batman! Don’t that “beak” all? #ceas #china #hacker #martin

Jun 05, 2012, 02:16 PM, Shaanxi, China
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