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These Mummified Wings From 100 Million Years Ago Show How Little Birds Have Changed

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Mummified bird wings from the age of dinosaurs suggest that the animal’s wings have not changed substantially since that period 100 million years ago, according to new research.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, evaluated what are believed to be the mummified wings of bird-dinosaurs called enantiornithes. Previous research has suggested that many dinosaurs may have had feathers, but the new study provides new detail invisible in fossils based on bones, feather and tissue that remains intact.

“The biggest problem we face with feathers in amber is that we usually get small fragments or isolated feathers,” says study co-author Ryan McKellar a curator at Canada’s Royal Saskatchewan Museum, according to National Geographic. “We don’t get something like this. It’s mind-blowingly cool.”


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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com