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110 myo Web Footed Bird Tracks
>From the current issue of Science News.
Early web-footed bird made impression
Researchers have discovered the fossil tracks of an
otherwise unknown bird in 110-million-year-old sediments, which pushes
back evidence of web-footed birds by at least 25 million years.
Science News only lists the references and sources
but this also has a link to the abstract in Naturwissenschaften
Abstract We describe the oldest tracks of web-footed birds from the Early
Cretaceous in South Korea. The tracks are characterized by a wide
divarication angle and a long reversed hallux. The web is semipalmate
and restricted to the proximal portion of the three forward digits. The
tracks from the Early Cretaceous in South Korea are smaller than those of
the Late Cretaceous, therefore confirming the trend of size increasing in
the early evolution of birds as shown by skeletal fossils. The discovery
of web-footed tracks with abundant non-web-footed tracks
indicates that there was a considerable diversification of
shore birds as early as the Early Cretaceous.
The article is available in Adobe format.