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Early Birds News
December 3, 2020

Top Headlines
 

Ancient Blanket Made With 11,500 Turkey Feathers

New research sheds light on the production of an 800-year-old turkey feather blanket and explores the economic and cultural aspects of raising turkeys to supply feathers in the ancient ...

Henderson Island Fossils Reveal New Polynesian Sandpiper Species

Fossil bones collected in the early 1990s on Henderson Island, part of the Pitcairn Group, have revealed a new species of Polynesian sandpiper. The Henderson Sandpiper, a small wading bird that has ...

New Genome Alignment Tool Empowers Large-Scale Studies of Vertebrate Evolution

Three new articles present major advances in understanding the evolution of birds and mammals, made possible by new methods for comparing the genomes ...

Giant Lizards Learnt to Fly Over Millions of Years

Most detailed every study into how animals evolve to better suit their environments shows that pterosaurs become more efficient at flying over millions of years before going extinct with the ...
Latest Headlines
updated 2:08pm EST

Earlier Headlines
 

Bird Skull Evolution Slowed After the Extinction of the Dinosaurs

From emus to woodpeckers, modern birds show remarkable diversity in skull shape and size, often hypothesized to be the result of a sudden hastening of evolution following the mass extinction that ...

Most Close Relatives of Birds Neared the Potential for Powered Flight but Few Crossed Its Thresholds

New research has resulted in an updated evolutionary tree of early birds and their closest relatives to reconstruct powered flight potential, showing it evolved at least three times. Many ancestors ...

Giant, Fruit-Gulping Pigeon Eaten Into Extinction on Pacific Islands

A large fruit-eating bird from Tonga joins the dodo in the lineup of giant island pigeons hunted to ...

New Zealand's Ancient Monster Penguins Had Northern Hemisphere Doppelgangers

New Zealand's monster penguins that lived 62 million years ago had doppelgangers in Japan, the USA and Canada, a new study has ...

Tiny Japanese Dinosaur Eggs Help Unscramble Cretaceous Ecosystem

A research team has excavated over 1300 eggshell fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Ohyamashimo Formation of Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Over 96% of these fossils, including numerous fragments, four ...

First Dinosaur Eggs Were Soft Like a Turtle's

New research suggests that the first dinosaurs laid soft-shelled eggs -- a finding that contradicts established thought. The study analyzed the eggs of two vastly different non-avian dinosaurs and ...

Ancient Bird Figurine Recovered from Refuse Heap the Oldest Instance of East Asian 3D Art

A small bird carving - -the oldest instance of East Asian three-dimensional art ever discovered -- is described in a new ...

Microscopic Feather Features Reveal Fossil Birds' Colors and Explain Why Cassowaries Shine

Some birds are iridescent because of the physical make-up of their feathers, but scientists had never found evidence of this structural color in the group of birds containing ostriches and ...

How Birds Evolved Big Brains

Evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have reconstructed the evolution of the avian brain using a massive dataset of brain volumes from dinosaurs, extinct birds like Archaeopteryx and the great ...

Pterosaurs and Other Fossil Flyers to Better Engineer Human-Made Flight

Pterosaurs were the largest animals ever to fly. They soared the skies for 160 million years -- much longer than any species of modern bird. Despite their aeronautic excellence, these ancient flyers ...

New Feathered Dinosaur Was One of the Last Surviving Raptors

Dineobellator notohesperus lived 67 million years ...

'Wonderchicken' Fossil from the Age of Dinosaurs Reveals Origin of Modern Birds

The oldest fossil of a modern bird yet found, dating from the age of dinosaurs, has been identified by an international team of ...

How the Development of Skulls and Beaks Made Darwin's Finches One of the Most Diverse Species

Darwin's finches are among the most celebrated examples of adaptive radiation in the evolution of modern vertebrates and now a new study has provided fresh insights into their rapid development ...

Study Traces Evolution of Acoustic Communication

A study tracing acoustic communication across the tree of life of land-living vertebrates reveals that the ability to vocalize goes back hundreds of millions of years, is associated with a nocturnal ...

New Feathered Dinosaur Shows Dinosaurs Grew Up Differently from Birds

A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered in China. The one-of-a-kind specimen preserves feathers and bones that provide new information about how dinosaurs grew and how they differed ...

When Penguins Ruled After Dinosaurs Died

The newly described Kupoupou stilwelli has been found near New Zealand's South Island and it appears to be the oldest penguin known with proportions close to its modern ...

Whaling and Climate Change Led to 100 Years of Feast or Famine for Antarctic Penguins

New research reveals how penguins have dealt with more than a century of human impacts in Antarctica and why some species are winners or losers in this rapidly changing ...

Researchers Study Chickens, Ostriches, Penguins to Learn How Flight Feathers Evolved

If you took a careful look at the feathers on a chicken, you'd find many different forms within the same bird -- even within a single feather. The diversity of feather shapes and functions ...

Butterflies Take Different Paths to Arrive at Same Color Pattern

An international team of scientists working with Heliconius butterflies in Panama was faced with a mystery: how do pairs of unrelated butterflies from Peru to Costa Rica evolve nearly the same ...

Ancient Egyptians Gathered Birds from the Wild for Sacrifice and Mummification

In ancient Egypt, sacred ibises were collected from their natural habitats to be ritually sacrificed, according to a new ...

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