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Researchers Discovered Fossil of First Bird with Teeth in China

Jan 8, 2013 14:06 IST

Fossil skeleton of the early bird called Sulcavis Geeorum which lived 125 million years ago was discovered in the first week of January 2013 in China. The bird had strange kind of ridges on the teeth which allowed it to open up hard-shelled snails and insects as well.

This is an unusual fossil which was preserved so well that some of the stomach contents were present even now. The discovery would help the researchers find out the kinds of food items that earliest birds of Earth ate during the time when dinosaurs existed.

The fossil skeleton of the first bird with teeth indicated that the bird had durophagous diet, which means that the teeth of this bird were able to eat prey that had hard exoskeletans. Researchers believed that teeth of this new specimen increased the known range of tooth shapes in the early birds, which in turn would indicate about the ecological diversity.
About Sulcavis Geeorum

•Sulcavis Geeorum is the enantiornithine bird (extinct toothed bird) that existed around 125 million years ago in Liaoning Province, China.
•Enantiornithine birds are actually a kind of early birds and also the most numerous birds from dinosaurs-era.
•Sulcavis Geeorum is said to be the first bird discoevred with tooth enamel. The birds are said to be have evolved from the dinosaurs but the dinosaurs have carnivorous teeth that have special characteristics for eating only meat.
•Enantiornithine are the unique birds among others that show minimal tooth reduction along with assortment of the dental patterns. However, Sulcavis Geeorum has strong teeth having grooves on inside surface which strengthen their teeth against harder foods.
•No other bird species in the past had striations, preserved ridges, serrated edges or other kinds of dental ornamentation.

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Read more Current Affairs on: fossil , dinosaurs , fossil skeleton , ecological diversity

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