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Jurassic Cretaceous Bird Skeleton Panel measures 13x9x3 in. Jurassic Cretaceous Bird Skeleton Panel is museum quality polyurethane resin cast. Made in the USA. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. China. Unidentified bird skeleton. Oculudentavis khaugrage is the scientific name.
A 14-millimeter-long skull found trapped in amber represents a new species of bird-like dinosaur, which its discoverers named Oculudentavis khaungraae. The beaked animal lived 99 million years ago during the Cretaceous period of Myanmar, and it’s now considered the smallest dinosaur in the fossil record.
Over the years, paleontologists have collected amber fossils containing all sorts of organisms and biological material, including plants, feathers, ticks, flies, beetles, frogs, mollusks, and even bits of the occasional bird. Amber fossils are exceptionally valuable in that they preserve details of extinct organisms in ways that other fossils cannot.
Using high-resolution synchrotron CT scanning, the researchers were able to study the fossil in exquisite detail, without having to crack it open. The skull measures just 14.25 millimeters in length, which is comparable in size to the skull of a bee hummingbird, the smallest modern bird living today.
The discovery suggests that miniature body sizes in birds evolved earlier than previously recognized, and might provide insights into the evolutionary process of miniaturization.
In this case, weighing perhaps 2 grams, Oculudentavis is about one-sixth of the size of the smallest known early fossil bird. This indicates that, only shortly after their origins late in the Jurassic period (which lasted from about 201 million to 145 million years ago), birds had already attained their minimum body sizes.”
Unlike modern hummingbirds, who use their beaks to sip nectar from flowers, Oculudentavis had a beak adorned with dozens of sharp teeth.
In fact, with an estimated 29 or 30 teeth, Oculudentavis has more teeth than any other bird found in the fossil record. Unlike birds living today, many birds from the Mesozoic had teeth.
To house all these teeth, Oculudentavis had an exceptionally long tooth row that extended all the way back to just under its large eye. So distinctive is this feature that the researchers chose to name it Oculudentavis, which means “eye-tooth” in Latin.
Oculudentavis also featured an exceptionally large eye sockets, one comparable to lizards. Its eyes would’ve bulged out sideways from its tiny head as it searched for food and strayed away from potential predators.
The small aperture in its eye bone allowed for a limited amount of incoming light, which suggests it was active during the day.
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|Dimensions||13.0 × 9 × 3 in|