Researchers find bird feather in dinosaur-era amber

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A team of Chinese and Canadian researchers have found an amber containing the feather of a bird's tail dating back around 100 million years.

"Unlike most tail feathers that are found in compression fossils, the discovery in amber offers three-dimensional structure of the feather and contains more information," said Zou Jinmei, one of the Chinese researchers.

"The feather dates back to the early Cretaceous, an important period for the evolution of birds," said Xing Lida, assistant professor at China University of Geoscience and leader of the team. "The Age saw how certain types of dinosaur evolved into birds."

The tail feather in amber was found at Hukawng Valley in northern Myanmar, an area rich in amber fossil discoveries. Amber can contain different kinds of soft tissues, providing valuable palaeontological information, according to Xing.

The findings have been published on the Journal of Palaeogeography. 

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