Earliest Unhatched Bird-Bird Fossil Found – Old as Dinosaurs

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 21, 2004   View Article

Paleontologists in China have unearthed a 121-million-year-old fossil bird embryo that is likely the world’s oldest. (See pictures.) The bird was found scrunched in an oval-shaped space slightly smaller than a chicken egg—one of several clues that suggest the bird never hatched.

More important, scientists say, is the evidence that the embryonic bird had feathers, a large skull, and hardened bones. The findings support the notion that early birds, like dinosaurs, were well developed at birth and able to move and forage on their own from the get-go.

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