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New Bird Fossils

>From Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org

In case these news items have not been mentioned yet. The 
first is undoubtedly legit...can't vouch for the second 
one at present:

Fossil of new bird species discovered in N. China   
The remains of a new species of 100-million-year-old bird 
have been found in a fossil rich area of northeastern 
China's Liaoning Province, a Chinese archaeologist said 
"The bird is different from other known birds of the 
Mesozoic Era (seven million-120 million years ago) at the 
medium to small size range with a distinct thorn-like 
process on its nose, which has never been found among 
other known fossil birds," said Dr. Li Li from the 
Institute of Mesozoic Paleontology of Western Liaoning of 
the Shenyang Normal University. 
The findings give scientists a further opportunity to 
examine the diversity of early birds, said Li. 
Li and her colleagues unearthed the fossil last October at 
the Dapingfang Town in the west of Liaoning where the 
remains of dinosaurs, fish and early bird species have 
also been found. 
"We discovered the fossil about 16 meters underground and 
it immediately aroused our great interest as its nose was 
unusually long," said Dr. Li. 
The well-preserved remains include a complete skeleton 
with a skull. The total length of the bird fossil is 216 
millimeters and its head is 28 millimeters with a high 
crista, said Li, adding the bird was named as 
Dapingfangornis after the place where it was found. 
The long tail feathers of the bird indicated it was male 
and its toothed jaws and strong ungula feet proved that it 
was small and carnivorous, said Li. 
In addition, many fragmentary skeletons of fish and small 
reptiles were preserved under the feet of the 
Dapingfangornis, which indicates that the bird liked 
eating animals alive, said Li. 
Li's findings have been published in the February English 
version of ACTA Geologica Sinica, a monthly by the 
Geological Society of China. 


February 21, 2006]              
(New Zealand Press Association Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
Wellington, Feb 21 NZPA - A Napier amateur palaeontologist 
has found a rare fossil he believes could prove to be one 
of the missing links between dinosaurs and birds.

Trevor Crabtree, who has previously uncovered many 
fossilised remains in the Napier/Wairoa region, estimates 
his latest find -- going by the skin and feather quills -- 
lived 130 million years ago, which dates it to the 
Jurassic period.

``By the tail alone, it can be seen it is from the 
pteredon family,'' he told Hawke's Bay Today.

``Pteredons were flying reptiles, but this one has the 
wings of a bird.''

He said the only record that he could locate of a similar 
find linking flying reptiles and birds was a possible 
discovery in China.

``The problem is that the evolutionary lines are too 
diverse and there are too many gaps in the fossil records.

``The connecting links have still to be discovered.''

Mr Crabtree's find has been scanned and an X-ray sent to 
Auckland in an attempt to further unlock its secrets.

Photos have also been e-mailed to palaeontologists 
throughout the world to establish whether anything similar 
has been found.