A fossilised leg bone found in Japan belonged to a prehistoric swan species with adaptations similar to several other water birds, including a duck-like bill and the feet of a loon
2 May 2022
A newly described bird from prehistoric Japan was an odd duck, so to speak. The enormous swan lived in the sea, sporting stubby wings that it possibly used to create a cradle on its back for offspring.
Hiroshige Matsuoka at Kyoto University and Yoshikazu Hasegawa at the Gunma Museum of Natural History in Japan analysed a fossilised skeleton that was excavated in 2000 in the Usui river in central Japan. The riverbed’s marine deposits date back to the Miocene epoch more than 11 …