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.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

New 48 MILLION-YEAR-OLD bird discovered in Germany with ‘likely relation to hoopoes’

A NEW 48 million-year-old species of bird has been discovered in Germany that is a “likely relation to modern hoopoes”, according to experts.

PUBLISHED: 05:02, Wed, Oct 18, 2017 | UPDATED: 05:58, Wed, Oct 18, 2017

Fossils have been discovered of a 48 million-year-old bird

Fossils were discovered of the 48 million-year-old bird that is similar in size to a wren and uses waxy oils to clean its feathers.

The author of the study, Dr Shane O’Reilly, said: “This research shows these long-beaked tiny birds, about the size of a wren, are likely the ancestors of modern hoopoes and wood-hoopoes.

“The Messelirrisoridae birds probably spent most of their lives in trees, rather than foraging on the ground or catching insects in flight.

“The uropygial gland, also called the preen gland, is an important gland in modern birds that produces a waxy oil that is transferred to feathers during preening.

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