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Well-Preserved 46,000-Year-Old Bird Tricks Scientists into Believing it Had Died a Day Ago

Dussex et al (Nature Communications Biology (2020)

Dussex et al (Nature Communications Biology (2020)

The bird, possibly from the middle of the last ice age, is apparently an ancestor of the modern horned lark.

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A 46,000 years old bird was so well preserved that fossil hunters were tricked into believing that it had died a day before. As per a report published in The Daily Mail, the bird, possibly from the middle of the last ice age, is apparently an ancestor of the modern horned lark. The well preserved bird was found near Serbia’s village of Belaya Gora.

According to the researchers the bird was a female and most likely had a non violent death before she was frozen. Moreover, she is supposedly the first recorded example of a frozen bird from that time. The age of the bird has been discovered through the radio carbon dating.

Palaeontologist Love Dalén and his team of the Swedish Museum of Natural History who have studied the bird after she was found by local fossil ivory hunters were taken aback when they saw the bird and initially thought the same would probably be a thrush or a lark, but with help from ornithologists through social media, the bird was correctly identified.

In a statement to CNN, Professor Love Dalén informed that the finding implies that climatic changes took place at the end of the last Ice Age which led to formation of new subspecies. Further, the ground was comparatively stable so the bird's carcass was preserved in a state very close to its time of death.

“No autopsy has been done but I think we can conclude its death likely wasn't violent and it must have been frozen relatively quickly because otherwise it falls apart. I'm pretty sure we also sexed it and it's a female which is also a little fun fact but we're not entirely sure what we're going to do with that information,” he told the CNN

Professor also informed that no formal name has been given but as of now internally they are referring to it as the 'Icebird' as it was found in frozen state. Emphasizing on what the bird would have possibly done in its lifetime Professor Love claimed that the small bird would have been flying around and would be living in an environment with mammoths and Cave Lions.

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