Histological analysis reveals ontogenetic variation in early birds

Most living birds characteristically grow rapidly and reach adult size within a year. Nevertheless, little is known about how such an advanced developmental strategy evolved despite many discoveries of early fossil birds. In a paper published online Feburary 3 in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, Drs. WANG Min and ZHOU Zhonghe, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, described a new adult specimen of Archaeorhynchus spathula, the basal-most taxon of Ornithuromorpha, and compared the bone microstructure of this taxon to other Mesozoic and living birds. Their study reveals ontogenetic variations in early birds, providing important information regarding ontogeny for early ornithuromorphs. —> Read More