New research details the discovery of two fossilized bird wings estimated to be 99-million years old. The appendages are reportedly well preserved in pieces of amber, which a paleontologist spotted for sale at a market in Myanmar.
The samples even include bone and feathers still connected to soft tissue skin. Both specimens are believed to come from enantiornithes which National Geographic describes as “a group of avian dinosaurs that became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period.”
In a recently published study, the international team describes the birds as likely juveniles due to the bone development, digit proportions, and small size of the wings. Claw marks indicate that one may have died trying to escape the resin, while the other may have already been dead–possibly due to a predator–before being encased.
While the creatures appear to have a feather structure similar to birds of today, these young members had plumage more commonly seen in adults which indicates they were born “ready to go.”
The paleontologist who made the initial discovery hopes researchers continue to look for ancient fossils throughout markets in Burma.