The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, July 18, 2019


Fossils reveal ancient history of perching birds
Fossil of Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi.


GREENWICH, CONN.- Paleontologists have identified two new extinct bird species that were the first to evolve finch-like beaks. Fossils of the new species, named Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi and Eofringillirostrum parvulum, were discovered in Wyoming and Germany. The exquisite fossils date to 50 million years ago, a time when both regions were covered by subtropical forests.

The study, to be published in the February 18, 2019 issue of the journal Current Biology, demonstrates that these species were among the earliest members of the perching bird group (Passeriformes). Perching birds are the world’s most species rich-bird group and include many familiar backyard birds such as sparrows, chickadees, and crows. The two Eofringillirostrum species are part of an extinct family named Psittacopedidae that evolved an impressive array of beak specializations, only to go extinct and be replaced by more modern perching birds.

“This discovery is remarkable because it reveals that the Psittacopedidae evolved all types of feeding specializations in the distant past, only to go extinct and be replaced by modern species,” says Dr. Daniel Ksepka, Curator of Science at the Bruce Museum and lead author of the study. “In a way, modern perching birds re-invented the wheel – or more accurately, re-evolved specialized beaks.”

Whereas the finch-like beak of Eofringillirostrum evolved for feeding on small seeds, this extinct species also had close relatives with very different specializations, including slender-billed species which drank nectar, and others that probably had a mixed diet consisting of fruits and invertebrates. All species of the Psittacopedidae seem to have gone extinct by 30 million years ago, whereupon modern perching birds like finches, sunbirds, and thrushes took over the same ecological roles.

The early success of Eofringillirostrum and its relatives raises the question of why these unique birds ultimately died out. “One major difference between the fossils and modern perching birds is the foot structure”, observes co-author Dr. Gerald Mayr of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany. “In Eofringillirostrum and its relatives, the fourth toe is reversed and forms a grasping foot. Even though the significance of this adaptation is not yet fully understood, a similar foot type occurs in many living birds that nest in tree cavities. Modern perching birds, by contrast, have a dazzling variety of nesting strategies, which may have contributed to their evolutionary success.”

The Fossil Lake site in Wyoming and Messel site in Germany are considered two of the world’s most productive fossil deposits, and the team hopes they will continue to yield new surprises.

“Complete fossil birds are exceedingly rare but are crucial to understanding the role extinct species played in the ecosystem,” says co-author Dr. Lance Grande of the Field Museum. “Discoveries like these have kept me returning to Fossil Lake in Wyoming year after year.”





Today's News

February 11, 2019

The Brooklyn Museum opens an exhibition exploring the life and work of Frida Kahlo

New focus on forgotten American artists Julia Thecla and Sonia Sekula

Fossils reveal ancient history of perching birds

Christie's continues to lead global art market: 2018 sales total $7 billion

Luhring Augustine opens an exhibition centered around printmaking as explored by gallery artists

Exhibition presents a selection of portraits, landscapes, and genre paintings by David Byrd

Detroit Institute of Arts displays "Souvenir II" by Kerry James Marshall

Mazzoleni opens a group show curated by Giorgio Verzotti

Paul Gauguin's artistic innovations installed in tropical setting reflecting their inspiration

Exhibition features rarely exhibited World War II Soviet propaganda posters by the TASS Windows studio

14a opens self-taught artist Marcin Barański's first solo exhibition in Hamburg

Ulterior Gallery opens its first solo exhibition of work by Cati Bestard

Subliminal Projects opens a display of new paintings, editioned works, and research materials by Chad Kouri

Electronic version of Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide now available for iPhone & iPads

Parrish Art Museum announces new board leadership

Mudam Luxembourg opens exhibition of works by Nairy Baghramian

Fine Asian Works of Art are offered at Turner Auctions + Appraisals

Dave Persue's first solo exhibition with GR Gallery opens in New York

Exhibition at Portland Art Museum seeks to reconceive and reimagine the Northwest

Evelyn Taocheng Wang wins Dolf Henkes Award 2019

Public Gallery opens Marroni & Ouanely's debut UK solo exhibition

'Knights' presents late-medieval and Renaissance arms and armor through more than 100 objects

Gallery NAGA opens solo exhibitions of works by Rick Fox and Louis Risoli

Guerilla projectionist and artist Robin Bell opens show next to White House

Muslim Traditions in Female Education

Types of Student Loans Available For College

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful