46,000-year-old Ice Age-era bird found in Siberia - News Landed
A shockingly well-preserved remains of a bird from the era of the Ice Age was found by scientists. The bird was identified to be a horned lark ( Eremophila alpestris). The specimen was first discovered by local fossil ivory hunters in Belaya Gora in north-east Siberia. The bird was preserved in permafrost and was buried. The specimen was then passed to a team of experts at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, including Love Dalén and Nicolas Dussex. The permafrost is the major reason for the amazing preservation of the specimen.
The age of the specimen was deduced to be 46,000 years after radiocarbon dating was performed. The full research paper was published Friday in the journal Communications Biology.
Dussex told CNN, "The fact that such a small and fragile specimen was near intact also suggests that dirt/mud must have been deposited gradually, or at least that the ground was relatively stable so that the bird's carcass was preserved in a state very close to its time of death." Dalén also told CNN that the discovered bird might be an ancestor to two subspecies of present-day lark.
The researchers plan on sequencing the entire genome of the bird, which is expected to reveal more secrets regarding its present-day connections and evolution. What is also shocking is that the bird was discovered in the same area as the 18,000-year-old puppy, which is also being studied by Dussex and Dalén. The puppy is thought to be the "missing link" between dogs and wolves.
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