Oct 16, 2017

Ancient reptile had bird-like head before birds existed

A Greater Adjutant Stork, pictured in India. Photo: Anupam Nath / AP

Scientists have found a bird-like skull from a reptile that existed in the Triassic age — 100 million years before birds evolved, per a new study. The newly discovered species is called Avicranium renestoi. Scientists used modern computer modeling technology to render a representation of the full reptile using just the skull.

Why it matters:

This is the first time we've seen a bird-like head from an animal that lived this long ago. It's a striking example of convergent evolution, separated by time. Other examples of convergent evolution include wings in bats and birds, and color in penguins and killer whales.

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