The recently analyzed world’s smallest bird is a 127 million years old baby bird and is one of the prehistoric birds that have lived in the times of the dinosaurs. Finding the fossils of birds that have lived in the time of the dinosaurs are very rare discoveries but the discovery of the world’s smallest bird’s fossils is the rarest possible discovery in this field.
The researchers admitted that this new discovery allows them to rethink the theories about how the long-gone prehistoric birds lived with up to 250 million years ago.
The Enantiornithine family, from which the recently studied bird belongs, was formed by birds with teeth and claws on their wings but which, otherwise, were very similar to the birds we see today.
“It’s amazing to realize that many of the features we see among living birds had already been developed more than 100 million years ago,” admitted Luis Chiappe, representative of the LA Museum of Natural History.
A new technology has been used to analyze the world’s smallest bird fossil
According to the scientists, the smallest prehistoric bird was measuring less than a human’s finger and weighed only 10 grams.
The bird was analyzed by American, Spanish, Swedish, and British researchers. They used a particle accelerator to study the bird with intense light and showed that the bird was probably too young to fly.
“New technologies are offering paleontologists unprecedented capacities to investigate fossils,” explained the researcher of the University of Manchester, Fabien Knoll.
Even though the baby bird has been unearthed years ago, the fossils have just recently been analyzed by scientists.
“Truth be told, the techniques we used to analyze it in the paper (such as synchrotron microtomography and elemental mapping) had not yet been developed when the specimen was discovered,” admitted Fabian Knoll.
According to the scientists, even though the bird was just a baby, it could’ve been capable of feeding on its own.
The recently studied fossil of the world’s smallest bird ever could lead researchers to learn how the prehistoric birds evolved and how they connect to the modern birds.