Scientists’ work on a bird fossil found in Waipara, New Zealand, reveals information from the oldest bird species ever lived. The fossil of a bird called Protodontopteryx ruthae is 62 million years old.
The ancient great seabirds were thought to have evolved in the Northern Hemisphere. This theory was changed when the oldest member of the Pelagornithids family was found in New Zealand.
The 62-million-year-old fossil was named Protodontopteryx ruthae. Protodontopteryx ruthae is the oldest bird species ever discovered. This bird species lived in New Zealand right after the dinosaurs died.
The birds in the same family as Protodontopteryx ruthae can reach 5 meters in length, while Protodontopteryx ruthae is only a seagull. There are bony tooth-like protrusions around the beak of Protodontopteryx ruthae, as in the seabird family to which it belongs.
The amateur paleontologist Leigh Love found the partial skeleton of the oldest bird species detected last year. The bird that Love discovered was named Protodontopteryx ruthae from Ruth, the name of Love’s wife. Love said that he thanked his wife, whom he said had endured his passion for paleontology.
Alan Mannerinh, the bones that Leigh Love found, made it workable. The partial skeleton was then examined at the Senckenberg Research Institute and the Museum of Natural History in Frankfurt. Dr.Vanesa De Pietri and Dr. Paul Scofield and Dr.Gerald Mayr conducted the study.
Dr. Paul Scofield, the fossilized bones found in the Southern Hemisphere, pointing to the pelagornithid development, he said. Of Although this bird is small compared to other members of the family, the impact of the discovery is very important in understanding this family. Until we found this skeleton, all the really old pelagornithids were found in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s why everyone thought this family was developing in the Northern Hemisphere. ”
In the study. Gerald Mayr said that the discovery of Protodontopteryx ruthae contributed not only to a complete fossil specimen of an ancient bird, but also to a good understanding of its evolution.
The skeleton of the protodontopteryx does not have the bones of the later pelagornithid to fly. The bird was probably flying at shorter intervals. Like other members of the family, Protodontopteryx has needle-like bony tooth structures. Through these structures, Protodontopteryx ruthae was hunting fish.
The last pelagornithid species died 2.5 million years before the emergence of modern man.
Protodontopteryx ruthae, Waipara Greensard, where the skeleton is located, has made many important scientific discoveries, including a giant penguin 1.6 meters long and the oldest tropical bird fossil.
The article on the fossil of Protodontopteryx ruthae was published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.