Home Business Ancient footprints discovered in Australia reveal oldest known evidence of birds flying south

Ancient footprints discovered in Australia reveal oldest known evidence of birds flying south

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Ancient footprints discovered in Australia reveal oldest known evidence of birds flying south

ATLANTA, Ga. — Historical footprints found in Australia, courting again over 100 million years, signify the earliest identified proof of birds within the Southern Hemisphere. A brand new research by Emory College in the US reveals that early birds reached southern polar areas 120 million years in the past.

Cretaceous hen fossils are plentiful in Northern continents, but exceedingly uncommon within the South. Till now, paleontologists have confronted challenges in understanding the distribution of early birds, owing to this shortage of proof.

The invention of 27 particular person footprints with bird-like features in Victoria, Australia might assist in overcoming this problem. The various dimensions and shapes of those tracks counsel the existence of varied hen species, together with a few of the largest identified from the Cretaceous Period.

These imprints indicate that the birds might need visited the realm seasonally, presumably as a part of a migratory path.

Wonthaggi Formation avian tracks with uneven depths of digit impressions.
Wonthaggi Formation avian tracks with uneven depths of digit impressions. Scale = 5 cm in all components. (CREDIT: Martin et al., 2023, PLOS ONE, CC-BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/))

Aside from a single bone and a few feathers, these tracks represent the oldest identified proof of birds in Australia or any a part of historical Gondwana, and the oldest proof of birds in historical polar environments. This discovery may point out that early birds were more prevalent in southern areas than beforehand believed.

“We’re very excited to doc that a wide range of birds had been dwelling in polar Australia throughout the Early Cretaceous Interval. However we additionally hope our hint fossil discovery conjures up different researchers to search for and discover extra Early Cretaceous hen tracks elsewhere within the Southern Hemisphere,” the research authors write in a media release.

The findings are printed within the journal PLoS ONE.

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South West Information Service author Isobel Williams contributed to this report.

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