Forum > Birds In The News > Ancient Preen Oil: Researchers Discover 48-million-year-old Lipids In A Fossil Bird

Webmaster Posted 18-Oct-2017 09:12


From Science Daily and New York Times on 18 Oct 2017 09:12

As a rule, soft parts do not withstand the ravages of time; hence, the majority of vertebrate fossils consist only of bones. Under these circumstances, a new discovery from the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Messel Pit” near Darmstadt in Germany comes as an even bigger surprise: a 48-million-year old skin gland from a bird, containing lipids of the same age. The oldest lipids ever recorded in a fossil vertebrate were used by the bird to preen its plumage.

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