We’ve found bugs,and even trapped in prehistoric amber, but now scientists say they have a nearly complete baby bird in the stuff.
Around 100 million years ago, the little hatchling in what is now Myanmar met an unfortunate fate when it fell into a pool of sap from a conifer tree. It was forever immortalized in the midst of its final struggles, while the world continued to undergo dramatic geological and climatic changes.
According to a paper published Tuesday in the journal Gondwana Research, most of the bird’s skull, its neck, a partial wing and a hind limb are encased in the amber, making it the most complete bird discovered this way so far. It also has some soft tissue on its tail and feathers.
The researchers report that the chick would be pretty weird by modern standards because it appears to have had brown feathers on its feet, legs and tail, but nothing much on the body where we’d expect to see some down on today’s birds.
Too bad the little creature never had much of a chance, but if we get it into the, we just might be able to see how it might have turned out.