The fossil skeleton of a bird with strange teeth that lived 125 million years ago has been discovered in China. The bird had bizarre ridges on its teeth that may have enabled it to crack open hard-shelled insects and snails, the researchers said.
The unusual fossil, described in the January issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, was so well preserved that some of its stomach contents were still present. The new find sheds light on the range of foods Earth's earliest birds ate during the dinosaur era.
"The teeth are weird and there are some stomach contents, which is unusual," said paleontologist Gareth Dyke, of the University of Southampton in the U.K., who was not involved in the study. "It's more evidence for the uniqueness and range of ecological specialization that are seen in these particular Mesozoic birds."