Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous 66 mya
Vegavis is a genus of extinct bird that lived during the latest Upper Cretaceous of Antarctica, some 66 million years ago (mya). Among modern birds, It is most closely related to ducks and geese (Anatidae).
The discovery shows that some of the major groups of bird alive today had already diversified in the Cretaceous. It has been hailed as the first definite physical proof that birds from some of the modern groups lived in the Mesozoic.
The Vegavis fossil specimen is held by the Museo de La Plata, Argentina. The very delicate remains of one bird are embedded in rock. Tomography (CT) scans were used to get a clearer picture of the bone structure without damaging or destroying the fossil.
References[change | change source]
- Clarke J.A.et al 2005. Definitive fossil evidence for the extant avian radiation in the Cretaceous. Nature, 433: 305-308.