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Researchers discover way to determine sex of ancient bird species

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | January 22, 2013

Researchers discover way to determine sex of ancient bird species

Sex of ancient birds suggest dinosaur reproductive style.

Researchers have discovered a way to determine the sex of ancient bird species, according to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Dr. Luis Chiappe, Director of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s Dinosaur Institute, says that Confuciusornis sanctus, a 125-million-year-old Mesozoic bird, had noticeable dissimilarities in plumage – some had ornamental tail feathers, others had none. Not until recently, however, have researchers proven that male Confuciusornis birds had ornamental plumage and females did not. Chiappe and his colleagues looked at hundreds of Confuciusornis fossils dug up from rocks deposited at the bottom of ancient lakes in northeastern China and discovered certain evidence of the gender difference: Medullary bone.

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