Paleontologists have discovered an ancient bird with a movable beak

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Maastricht Museum of Natural History have found that one of the key features of the skull that characterizes 99% of modern birds – the movable beak – evolved before the mass extinction that wiped out all large dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

From this discovery it follows that the skulls of ostriches, emus and their relatives evolved “backward”, returning to a more primitive state after modern birds arose.

Such conclusions were made after the analysis of the fossil remains of a previously unknown species of ancient birds, Janavis finalidens.

This species lived at the end of the dinosaur era, which ended 66 million years ago, and was the last bird with teeth.

The arrangement of its palatine bones shows that this “dinosaur bird” had an agile, agile beak almost indistinguishable from that of most modern birds.

For more than a century, it has been assumed that the movable beak evolved in most birds after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The only exceptions were ostriches and emus, paleognaths (“ancient jaws”), whose palatine bones remained fused, like in humans.

The beaks of the neognaths are much more dexterous, useful for building nests, grooming themselves, as well as gathering food and defending against predators.

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