New fossils of Cretaceous wading birds have not only pushed back the date of the dinosaur to bird evolution, but demonstrate that early birds (these fossils are 130 million years old) had evolved to exploit multiple habitats.
Put yourself on the planet 130 million years ago. Most of the animals, from horned dinosaurs to swimming, predatory plesiosaurs, would be deeply alien, not to say terrifying. But rising from the wetlands and winging across the sky were birds startlingly like today’s. That’s the message from two bird skeletons—spectacularly preserved with feathers and all—reported this week.