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PhysOrg

Scientists describe the most complete fossil from the early stages of owl evolution

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Discoveries from the early stages of owl evolution are exceedingly rare. An approximately 60-million-year-old leg bone is the oldest fossil that can be assigned to an owl. "Other owls from this time period are also only known on the basis of individual bones and fragments. Therefore, I was especially pleased when I received a largely complete owl skeleton from the North American Willwood Formation for study, which my colleague and the study's co-author, Philip Gingerich, had discovered 30 years ago," explains Dr. Gerald Mayr of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.

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