A newly discovered prehistoric bird fossil might bring new data about our planet as it offers unexpected details about the Cretaceous.
These past few weeks have revealed quite a lot of new data. Most such information furthered our knowledge about Earth.
New animals and plant species have been discovered. Details about their habitats have been unearthed. They could come to offer hints about our future.
Now, a prehistoric bird fossil might offer a glimpse into the past. More exactly, the Cretaceous period, which might have had a climate as warm as Florida’s.
The Cretaceous is a geological system and period. It is believed to have spanned from 79 to about 145 million years ago. It began in the late Jurassic and to the beginning of the Paleogene.
The Cretaceous is believed to have ended with a mass extinction. However, during its time, it housed the appearance of new fauna and flora. More exactly, new birds and mammals species. At the time, dinosaurs are known to have been roaming the planet.
A Canadian Arctic bird fossil may offer new data about the period. The prehistoric bird fossil is amongst the oldest discovered as of yet.
It has been studied by a team of University of Rochester researchers. They were led by John Tarduno. He is a University of Rochester professor of Earth Sciences.
Research results were released earlier this week. On December 19, the study was published in the Scientific Reports journal.
It was titled as follows. “A Large Ornithurine Bird (Tingmiatornis arctica) from the Turonian High Arctic: Climatic and Evolutionary Implications”.
The fossils were found to date back to the Turonian age. This lasted from 93.9 to about 89.9 million years ago. North Pole avian records hold only a few older bird specimens.
This specimen has been named Tingmiatornis arctica. In the Inuktitut language, this might be translated as “those that fly”. The prehistoric bird fossil also helped envision the specimen’s aspect.
It could have looked as a cross between a diving bird and a large seagull. However, according to Tarduno, it also had teeth.
Research found no teeth in the area. But the researchers state that they have greatly advantaged the bird. Such a diving bird would have been to feed on feed. During that period, the Arctic waters are believed to have held large carnivorous fish.
The newest prehistoric bird fossil is being compared to known specimens. These were also found in the region. Through the comparison, scientists are trying to build the bird’s ecosystem.
As such, they are trying to distribute it to a species class. They are also looking for its place on the food chain.
T. arctica could also come to offer important climate information. According to professor Tarduno, some weather information was already available.
As such, researchers knew that the period was somewhat warm. However, they still predicted potential seasonal ice.
Still, the newly discovered bird fossils may come to contradict this theory. Researchers claim that the weather and climate might have been very warm. It might have been a hyper-warm period interval.
They were led to the conclusion by the bird’s projected ecosystem. Neither it nor its food sources could have survived through a cold weather.
Richard Bono went to offer details. According to him, the fossil tells the story of a different story. During that period, the Arctic could have been warm and had no ice. Its aspect would have been vastly different.
Bono is an Earth and Environmental Sciences Ph.D. candidate, and part of the research team. The team believes that global warming may have contributed.
Methane and carbon dioxide emissions could have warmed up the planet. As such, they could have produced the tropical weather in the expected cold period and area.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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