A complete fossilized skeleton of a bird with a dinosaur head – Cratonavis zhui, who lived about 120 million years ago, was found by archaeologists in China.
About it informs Science Alert.
Researchers found a find during excavations in northern China in sedimentary rocks formed in the Cretaceous period.
Led by paleontologist Zhou Zhonghe of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), scientists began examining the skull using high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scans.
The team reconstructed the shape and function of the skull as it was when the bird was alive, using digital versions of the mineralized bones.
After research, it turned out that the shape of the skull of Cratonavis is almost the same as that of dinosaurs. Such as tyrannosaurus rex, not birds.
“The primitive features of the skull suggest that most Cretaceous birds, such as Cratonavis, could not move the upper beak independently of the meninges and mandibles,” said CAS paleontologist Zhihen Li.
The find could help shed light on key steps in the evolution of modern birds.