Chinese archeologists find clues about appearance of early birds, dinosaurs

Updated 2016-11-22 17:39:00 Xinhua

Chinese archeologists have discovered molecular evidence of the protein keratin in a bird fossil from the Cretaceous Period 130 million years ago, which may provide clues about the color of feathered dinosaurs and early birds.

The research paper by experts with the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences was published by America's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Tuesday.

Pan Yanhong, a leading researcher with the program, told Xinhua that they discovered the molecular structure of a protein that determines feather color in the bird fossil.

The study shows that these molecular structures are preserved in fossils and are consistent with modern feathers. Researchers hope the study will lead to hypotheses about dinosaur color, behavior, habitat, and physiology.

It was also the oldest molecular evidence found in bird fossils. Previously, the molecular structure of the protein had only been found in fossils dating back some 80 million years.

The bird that experts used in the research is one of the earliest bird fossils found in China. The Cretaceous bird, named Eoconfuciusornis, was discovered in north China's Hebei Province in 2008.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58May 29 2017 12:01:21

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16May 29 2017 12:01:21

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18May 29 2017 12:01:21

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords