Could this be the start of a real-life Jurassic Park? Paleontologists from the University of Alberta recently published their findings on dinosaur and bird feathers preserved in amber in the journal Science. Dating back over 78 million years, the feathered findings indicate winged creatures of early Earth may have had similarities to modern birds. Here's what you need to know about this historic finding:
- Why it matters — The primitive feathers found in amber are nearly identical to those of today's birds. The report says that these early feather specimens are attributable to dinosaurs before they went extinct.
- Amber preservation — The feathers are in such vivid detail because the tree resin that preserves them has its own antibacterial and drying properties that slow normal decay.
- Jurassic Park? — Despite the similarities to Jurassic Park's storyline of finding dino DNA preserved in amber, a future theme park won't be in the works anytime soon. The specimens discovered in Canada are very small and don't contain any DNA material. Your Jeff Goldblum-inspired vacation plans are foiled again.