Findings show ancient birds died in flash flood

Nov 14, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier report

(PhysOrg.com) -- During a presentation at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's 71st annual Meeting in Las Vegas, researchers Gareth Dyke and Darren Naish from the University of Southampton presented their findings of the first known Mesozoic bird colony remains.

The discovery was made in the Sebes area of Transylvania, Romania and includes a large collection of bird fossils and , both partial and whole, trapped within the . It is believed that this colony of birds was wiped out when a flash flood hit the area some 100 million years ago.

The prehistoric birds belonged to the enantiornithines and had claws and saw-like beaks with teeth. They had clawed fingers on their but, besides these features, these birds resembled modern day birds. These birds are an extinct branch of modern birds but researchers have been unable to determine why these became extinct while other lived for much longer.

This is the first evidence that nested near the water similar to how do now. It is also the first time full, well-preserved eggs have been found and researchers hope this will help them learn about the biology of these animals. Finding whole and preserved eggs, researchers say this will allow them to figure out the size and the volume of the bird’s eggs for the first time.

The location where this fossilized nesting ground was discovered has been rich in other remains as well. Researchers have also discovered the remains of a predatory bird-like dinosaur known as a Balaur, small rodent animals, a dwarf plant-eating dinosaur and one of the world’s largest pterosaurs. Back during the Cretaceous period, Romania was a large island and apparently filled with many different species of animals. One thing the researchers do note is that to date, there doesn't seem to be any evidence of the big predatory type dinosaurs in this area.

Explore further: Scientists conclude sun-powered boat trip to find Europe's oldest village

Related Stories

Primitive birds shared dinosaurs' fate

Sep 19, 2011

A new study puts an end to the longstanding debate about how archaic birds went extinct, suggesting they were virtually wiped out by the same meteorite impact that put an end to dinosaurs 65 million years ...

Archaeopteryx and the dinosaur-bird family tree

Sep 15, 2011

The magpie-sized Archaeopteryx had bird and dinosaur features and helped show that birds evolved from dinosaurs. However, recent research in the journal Nature questions its position in the dinosaur-bird family ...

Dinosaur species attracted mates similar to a peacock

Nov 09, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study presented at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology shows that the Oviraptor dinosaur had a tail structure that allowed it to shake its tail feathers, possibly to attract potential ...

Recommended for you

Oldest representative of a weird arthropod group

Aug 28, 2014

Biologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have assigned a number of 435-million-year-old fossils to a new genus of predatory arthropods. These animals lived in shallow marine habitats ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (9) Nov 15, 2011
Well, well, well! Ancient birds of about 100 million years looking like modern birds! Who would have thought?! And that all in the same place as dinosaurs, together with rats and other interesting animals - all probably resembling their modern counterparts. Like I've said elsewhere before - Dinos lived at the same time as a lot of modern animals, birds and fish. The researchers have cunningly given those other organisms completely different names to what we know them as today, hence it appears they are "ancestors" or completely unrelated. The evidence will now start mounting very quickly.
kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (8) Nov 15, 2011
And what about the LIMESTONE!!!! How to explain that one away? In fact, the current [faulty] theory of limestone formation probably forces a time constraint that will be totally misleading as to the real occurrence of events.
roboferret
5 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2011
Well, well, well! Ancient birds of about 100 million years looking like modern birds!


Did you miss the bit about the claws and teeth?

Dinos lived at the same time as a lot of modern animals, birds and fish


No. There is no evidence of modern mammals (apart from small rodent like creatures) buried with dinosaurs. When you find an elephant buried in the same strata as a t-rex, let us know. Or maybe one of Ken Ham's Triceratops with a saddle.

The evidence will now start mounting very quickly


It already is. It just isn't telling you what you want to hear.
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 15, 2011
Ancient birds of about 100 million years looking like modern birds!
It did not say that.

The prehistoric birds belonged to the enantiornithines and had claws and saw-like beaks with teeth. They had clawed fingers on their wings but, besides these features
Funny how you just pretended that wasn't there.

Who would have thought?!
Me.

all in the same place as dinosaurs, together with rats and other interesting animals
What rats? They were not in that article. Dinosaurs are expected but rats would be weird. Ratlike maybe but not rats and guess what they weren't there.

all probably resembling their modern counterparts
Would you care to show me a modern dinosaur?

I've said elsewhere before - Dinos lived at the same time as a lot of modern animals, birds and fish.
You have lied a lot.

researchers have cunningly given those other organisms completely different names
They tend to do that when dealing with different organisms>>
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 15, 2011
to what we know them as today, hence it appears they are "ancestors" or completely unrelated
Well since it wasn't mere appearance they are supposed to do that.

The evidence will now start mounting very quickly.
It has been doing so for about two centuries. Genesis is wrong. Heck Genesis 1 was wrong as soon as Genesis 2 was written or the other way around.

And I am still waiting for the evidence for the Great Flood and a date. The Bible actually provides plenty of information to get a date.

And what about the LIMESTONE!!!! How to explain that one away?
Excuse me? Why? Its limestone. Nothing to explain away.

In fact, the current [faulty] theory of limestone formation probably forces a time constraint that will be totally misleading as to the real occurrence of events.
No. The real occurrence fits what we see not what you believe.

Ethelred
COCO
1 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2011
sounds like Velikovsky was rite.
barakn
not rated yet Nov 15, 2011
That's funny. I could have sworn Velikovsky was a person.