In his great blog (that I actually – and that’s no lie – look into at least once a week), Paul Cianfaglione writes about many bird-related things, including fine book reviews, very interesting insights into bird anatomy and everything else.
But his latest post is just unbeatable: he did make an extremely close inspection of a bird fossil from Messel that he owns.:
“Messel Bird Fossil offers unique feather preservation, and more” from January 23, 2019
I personally have never seen close-ups of a bird fossil that are so razor-sharp and detailed!
And his bird shows features not known in any living bird – at least not all of them together in one bird.:
The beak is very big and hooked like the beak of a bird of prey or a owl, and it appears to have had sensory pits, the body feathers appear somewhat hair-like, the wing coverts are fluffy, also probably somewhat like the feather edges of recent owls, and the primaries have extremely strange appendages not known in that way from any other bird, living or extinct, but somewhat reminding on the wings of a waxwing.
What kind of a bird was that?
Well, I could try to do a reconstruction, should I?