Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Duck-Sized Dino-Era Bird Found in China
It has asymmetrical feathers like modern birds. It is iridescence and colourful, just like today’s hummingbirds.
And Caihong juji ('rainbow with the big crest'), made public yesterday in a paper in the journal Nature Communications, is assumed to be 161 million years old but as its preservation is “incredible” the age might well be nothing more than wishful thinking.
Modern pigment has previously been reported in a ”150-million-year” old bird fossil, and birds are known to have flown over the heads of dinosaurs.
The authors describe C. juji as a dinosaur, though it probably looked even less like a dino than Archaeopteryx, the “earliest” true bird, which is believed to be or “10 million years” younger.
There is something fishy about its recent past. Discovered by a farmer in China's Hebei Province, the Paleontological Museum of Liaoning bought it in 2014.
In biblical archaeology, objects found by amateurs are almost always dismissed as frauds.
But when it has to do with evolution, the standard is obviously much lower.
C. juji has some mosaic-like features and some unique ones, such as asymmetrical feathers in its tail.
However, these would hardly make it into a dinosaur.
Geggel, Laura. 2018. Little 'Rainbow' Dinosaur Discovered by Farmer in China. Live Science (15 January).