Researchers make breathtaking find encased in 99 million-year-old amber

aol.com | Aol NEWS | December 8, 2016

(Image courtesy of Ryan McKellar/Royal Saskatchewan Museum)
(Image courtesy of Ryan McKellar/Royal Saskatchewan Museum)

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An amber-encased specimen found in Myanmar has been identified as a baby dinosaur tail estimated to be 99-million years old, reports NPR.

It was reportedly discovered in 2015 by Chinese researcher Lida Xing who noticed it being sold at a market as a decorative item.

He and a team ended up analyzing the piece and describing the results in a recently published study; co-author Ryan McKellar of Canada has said that the artifact “…preserves a tail consisting of eight vertebrae from a juvenile; these are surrounded by feathers that are preserved in 3D and with microscopic detail.”

The paper also notes that, as a result of this clarity, they have been able to observe the “…spatial arrangement of follicles and feathers on the body, and micrometer-scale features of the plumage.”

The researchers ultimately concluded that the dinosaur was likely a small coelurosaur which became trapped in the sticky sap and eventually died.

McKellar has indicated that the specimen could give scientists a better understanding of how modern feathers evolved.

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