Look, Up In the Sky, It’s a Duck, a Grebe, a Loon… It’s A Fossil!

Gansus yumenensis is the name, and dozens of well-preserved fossils of this early bird show that it had a semi-aquatic lifestyle. See the National Geographic and the UK’s Independent articles for details on the find. The thing that apparently they did not get, even with so many specimens, was the head. The articles go into commentary on possible interpretations of the find. It is probably too early for definitive statements, but I think I like the one about how this shows early diversity in bird lineages best so far. Now I just need to watch to see what holds up as more work is done.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.