News about weird and bizarre happenings from around the world.

Friday, 25 September 2009

China's new dinosaur fossil sheds light on bird origin

Chinese scientists have discovered a 160-million-year-old feathery four-winged dinosaur fossil that sheds new light on the origin of birds.

The dinosaur, excavated from Jianchang County, in the northeastern province of Liaoning, belongs to the Troodontidae, a family of theropods most closely related to birds, Hu Dongyu, head of a research group from the Shenyang Normal University, said Friday.

The fossil is the oldest troodontid reported so far, Hu told reporters in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning.

It is about 20-30 million years older than the earlier oldest troodontid, found also in Liaoning, the scientist said.

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