Above is an artists depiction of what the prehistoric Enantiornithes species may have looked like. This ancient bird could fly, but according to a new study, the chicks may have taken a longer time developing flight than modern birds.
The breast bone of a fossilized baby bird recently gave researchers a closer look into the evolution of birds. When most animals are newly born, their bones are made of cartilage. They eventually harden and become bone. As for the young Enantiornithes though, the breast bone seemed to be made of cartilage after the age that baby birds have a fully developed breast bone. This leads to the conclusion that baby Enantiornithes remained dependent on it’s parent/parents longer than modern bird species. More research will be done in the future about the baby Enantiornithes and how it contributes to bird evolution.
- F. Knoll et al. A diminutive perinate European Enantiornithes reveals an asynchronous ossification pattern in early birds. Nature Communications. Published online March 5, 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03295-9.
- X. Zheng et al. Insight into the early evolution of the avian sternum from juvenile enantiornithines. Nature Communications. Published online October 9, 2012. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2104.