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, 3 June 2015

Bird with Flashy Tail Was 1st of its Kind on Ancient Supercontinent

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | June 02, 2015 11:00am ET

About 115 million years ago, a teenage bird with spotted, ribbonlike tail feathers flew around the trees of the supercontinent Gondwana, until it perished and fossilized in what is now northeastern Brazil, a new study finds.

At 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) from head to tail, the hummingbird-size fossil is the first of its kind to be uncovered in South America, and one of the oldest known bird fossils from Gondwana, a supercontinent that once encompassed Africa, Antarctica, Australia, India and South America, the researchers said.

What's more, it's one of the most complete and well-preserved fossils of a bird with ribbonlike tail feathers from the Early Cretaceous period, and gives researchers an unprecedented view of the intriguing plume that adorned its derriere. [See images of the remarkable bird with ribbonlike tail feathers]

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