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Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
There was a sensation ten years ago when the first photographs of fossil birds and dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoning in China were published. Here were exquisitely preserved specimens that showed feathers.
Other fossils were also exceptionally well preserved. The most astonishing find was that a number of small carnivorous dinosaurs too had feathers, so confirming the long-standing view that birds evolved directly from dinosaurs. A team from the University of Bristol is working with colleagues in Beijing to study the preservation and tissue structure of the feathers. We hope to understand just why so many thousands of astonishing specimens have been so well preserved, and to find what the unexpected view of soft tissues tells us about the evolution of birds.
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