The 100 million-year-old Burmese amber feathers have been so beautifully preserved that paleontologists have been able to make a detailed study of their structure – and they are like what live birds do not see today.
In fact, they may have been kind of tempting to fall into the predators, just as a lizard falls to flee to escape.
Snakes found in 31 of Myanmar amber originated from Cherry (commonly known as Burmese Amber) were analyzed by Chinese Paleontologist Lida Xing, Peking University of Geosciences.
You might remember Xing of such Burmese amber Smash hits when the 100 million year old birdwatch is Amber, Amber's unlucky unlucky frogs are the oldest ever discovered, and of course the absolutely epic "Feathered Dinosaur Tail" has been found to remain in Amber.
These feathers are now associated with this special symbol. They are called tail streams and are long feathers that extend beyond these ancient birds – sometimes even longer than the birds themselves.
Because modern birds often have long tail feathers for decorative and paring purposes, it was thought that they also had strips.
But even though we have known the shrubs of the shrines for decades, most of the fossilized samples have been removed, which makes a more detailed study of their purpose a little tricky.
Amber samples – most of which show that the feathers were in pairs – have been beautifully preserved in all three dimensions. So the team has been able to detect its strange morphology and understand a bit about how birds can use them.
"Our way of interpreting these feathers of packaging waste was, in principle, completely wrong, and when we looked at them in the ambitious three-dimensional dimensions, I was amazed," said Paleontologist Jingmai O Connor Peiutum on paleontology and paleoanthropology in Beijing. science.
"They are more beautiful feathers that I have ever seen."
They are dominated by the bites or the central part of the feather (which is why they are known, rachis dominate feathers or RDF). But, as scientists have now stated, rachis is completely different from the closed cylinder of modern birds.
Instead, it can be opened below – such as C or U – and on both sides has fewer brushes than modern feathers. Rats can also be incredibly thin – in some cases less than 3 micrometers (the human blood cell is on average 7 microns in diameter). Yet they would still be stuck, straight and stiff.
The thinness and shape of the rush lead the researchers to believe that feathers would have lower energy costs – a desirable feature if the feathers are disposable, as the tips indicate.
For example, some feathered feathers show that the feather was struck by the oozing of the sap, while others were found without the mark of a dead bird. According to the researchers, both features suggest that feathers were easy to remove.
They were also not as colorful as you expected a sexy tail feather.
"Amber RDF's easy-to-remove and muted colors can reveal a sacrificial role in defense, as well as usefulness in visual signaling," the researchers write in their paper.
Reducing the construction of a long-lasting RDF with open and thin-walled rays may have helped to reduce the productivity of feathers which in many cases was as long as their total length of holders. "
The odd shape of the rakes found in these loops, however, raises more questions, namely whether the RDFs have developed from normal feathers or have they followed a different evolutionary path.
However, this question requires a larger amount of research into RDF orange samples from an exceptionally high quality response. Fingers crossed to get some hands on it soon.
Team research has been published Journal of Palaeogeography.