Well-preserved 46,000-year-old bird tricks Scientists believe they died a day ago

Dussex et al. (Nature Communications Biology (2020)

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 horn lark.

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  • Last updated: February 22, 2020, 2:17 p.m.

A 46,000-year-old bird was so well preserved that fossil hunters were led to believe that it had died the day before. According to a report published in The Daily Mail, the bird, possibly from the middle of the last Ice Age, appears to be an ancestor of the modern horned lark. The well-preserved bird was found near the Serbian village of Belaya Gora.

According to the researchers, the bird was female and most likely had a non-violent death before it was frozen. It is also said to be the first known example of a frozen bird from this period. The age of the bird was discovered by radiocarbon dating.

Paleontologist Love Dalén and his team at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, who examined the bird after it was found by local fossil ivory hunters, were surprised to see the bird and initially thought it was probably a thrush or a lark would act, but with the help of ornithologists via social media, the bird was correctly identified.

In a statement to CNN, Professor Love Dalén said the finding implied that climate change occurred at the end of the last ice age, leading to the formation of new subspecies. Furthermore, the soil was comparatively stable, so that the bird's carcass was preserved in a condition very close to the time of its death.

"No autopsy was performed, but I think we can conclude that the death was probably not violent and must have been frozen relatively quickly, otherwise it would fall apart. I'm pretty sure we did it sexually and it's a woman, which is a little bit of fun, but we're not quite sure what we're going to do with this information, ”he told the CNN

Professor also announced that no formal name was given, but from now on he is referred to internally as "Kingfisher" because he was found frozen. Professor Love stressed what the bird might have done in his life, claiming that the little bird would have flown around and live in an environment with mammoths and cave lions.