02-28-09, 08:19 PM #1
Fossil of giant toothed seabird found.
LIMA, Peru (AP) — The unusually intact fossilized skull of a
giant, bony-toothed sea bird that died millions of years ago was found on
Peru's arid southern coast, researchers said Friday.
The museum said in a statement that the birds had wingspans of up to 20
feet (6 meters) and may have used the toothlike projections on their beaks
to prey on slippery fish and squid.
The cranium discovered in Peru is 16 inches long and is believed to be 8
million to 10 million years old, based on the age of the rock bed in which it
The formation, a coastal rock bed south of the capital, Lima, is known for
yielding fossils of whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine life dating as far
back as 14 million years.
Read more here: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...u-fossil_N.htm
Screen capture from: http://www.leeuwardercourant.nl/nieu...vogel_gevonden
I just wanted to share. It reminded me a bit of Archaeopteryx
02-28-09, 10:10 PM #2
Wow. If there were birds with teeth a mere ten million years ago, that's some really fast evolution in the Aves. Can we point to any change so enormous and complete among the Mammalia during that time? Sure, the human brain, I guess. But that's soft tissue and soft tissue evolves faster.
02-28-09, 11:04 PM #3
03-01-09, 05:08 AM #4
From the article:
Some believe they are related to gannets and pelicans while other say they are related to ducks.
By the way, Synth, it says it had bony teeth.. which is, I guess, somewhat different from just pointy projections of the beak.
03-01-09, 10:15 AM #5
The genetic mechanism for the production of teeth is still present in birds - but inactivated by the non-production of the requisite hormone that triggers that genetic mechanism.
It is quite plausible that the ancestor of the above-described fossil bird did not have teeth, but that somewhere along the line, the genetic mechanism was re-activated, providing a clear advantage leading again to a toothed bird.
03-01-09, 03:14 PM #6
By S.A.M. in forum General Science & TechnologyLast Post: 04-26-10, 10:46 PMReplies: 12
By blobrana in forum Biology & GeneticsLast Post: 05-29-08, 08:55 AMReplies: 3
By Michael in forum World EventsLast Post: 11-23-07, 03:11 AMReplies: 5
By Killian_1_4 in forum Human ScienceLast Post: 11-21-07, 04:22 PMReplies: 4
By OliverJ in forum World EventsLast Post: 04-16-06, 07:21 PMReplies: 82