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This nearly 100-million-year-old wing tip features bones, soft tissue, and feathers preserved in amber. It was nicknamed "Angel" because it was originally intended to be used in a pendant called "Angel's Wings."
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016 ... iornithes/
By Kristin Romey
PUBLISHED June 28, 2016
Two tiny wings entombed in amber reveal that plumage (the layering, patterning, coloring, and arrangement of feathers) seen in birds today already existed in at least some of their predecessors nearly a hundred million years ago.
A study of the mummified wings, published in the June 28 issue of Nature Communications and funded in part by the National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council, indicated they most likely belonged to enantiornithes , a group of avian dinosaurs that became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period.
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IDK if I'd qualify the find as "groundbreaking" per se, since the existence of atavistic birds a/o aviform dinosaurs has already been known, but seeing the actual structure of wingtip plumage could certainly lead to all-new ideation of behavior in dinosaurs such as microraptor.
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Yeah, gotta echo what Mikey was saying. An absolutely lovely find, though. Glad it wasn't turned into a knickknack.
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It's just stunning to think that this wing has sat in there for a hundred million years. That's more than a thousand times older than the oldest known man made object...
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