As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Scientists: World’s oldest fossil bird eggshells found

March 18, 2014

By AKIKO MINATO/ Staff Writer

KATSUYAMA, Fukui Prefecture--Researchers say they have found the world’s oldest fossilized bird eggshells--120 million years old--that could provide insight into how dinosaurs evolved.

“We’ve now got a clue into ascertaining the mating process of species that were evolving into modern birds,” said Yoichi Azuma, 64, one of the researchers and a professor of paleontology at Fukui Prefectural University’s Dinosaur Research Institute. “(The fossilized eggshells) will help us figure out how bird ancestors laid eggs and to clearly identify differences between their eggs and ones of present species.”

The three fossil eggshells, ranging in size from 2 by 2 millimeters to 6 by 6 mm, were discovered within a fist-sized mudstone near a geological layer dating back to the early Cretaceous Period around 120 million years ago, according to the researchers.

The stone was unearthed in 1990 in Katsuyama.

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