Remains of a bird with an unusually long tongue found in China

Fotografía y dibujo lineal del cuerpo del espécimen holotipo de Brevirostruavis macrohyoideus, nueva ave del Cretácico descubierta en China
?Li, Stidham, Zhou, Clarke, 2021

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The bird, which lived simultaneously with the dinosaurs on the territory of modern China, had an unusually long tongue.

As scientists found out, its size exceeded the length of the head of a fossil creature, whose fossilized skeleton, 120 million years old, was discovered in the northeast of the country.

Some modern birds, such as woodpeckers or hummingbirds, also have a very long tongue. But the extinct bird, which was named Brevirostruavis macrohyoideus (which means “a bird with a short head and a big tongue”) is the earliest such example, scientists from Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as the University of Texas at Austin, who owns the discovery.

The team hypothesized that the ancient bird used its long tongue to catch insects, similar to how a woodpecker uses it to pull beetles out of holes in wood. However, it is possible that prehistoric birds could also feed on pollen and nectar.

Scientists Discover Fossil of Extinct Early Bird That Could Stick Out Its Tongue – Brevirostruavis macrohyoideus, which means “bird with a short snout and big tongue.” #Palaeontology #evolution #science @SciChat

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Anna Lysenko

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