In birds, the reverse process of evolution was recorded

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the University of Cambridge and the Maastricht Historical and Natural Museum have documented the process of reverse evolution in birds.

Experts have reanalyzed a 66.7 million-year-old fossilized bird skeleton found on the Dutch-Belgian border back in the 1990s.

It was previously thought that the movable beaks of modern birds, which they can move independently of the head, developed quite recently, and first appeared in birds such as ostriches and emus, in which only the upper jaws were fixed.

Today, approximately 99 percent of all birds have moveable beaks.

Movable beaks formed before the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, a new study found. This means that instead of bridging the evolutionary gap, ostriches and emus “evolved backwards” to achieve simpler beak designs.

To do this, scientists used computed tomography techniques to identify fossilized bones from the palate in the mouth of a previously unknown species of large bird called Janavis finalidens.

These animals lived at the end of the dinosaur era and were among the last birds to have teeth.

The location of the bones showed that this creature had a movable beak, which did not differ much in structure from the beak of modern birds.

The authors emphasize that the results of their study illustrate the understanding of a key evolutionary feature of modern birds.


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