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The Amateur Paleontologist

Chinese bird with preserved (?)lungs

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The Amateur Paleontologist

This is rather interesting - a specimen of the bird Archeorhynchus spathula (STM7-11)  from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation (northeastern China) has been shown to have probable evidence of preserved lungs :)

 

Wang, X., O’Connor, J. K., Maina, J. N., Pan, Y., Wang, M., Wang, Y., Zheng, X., & Zhou, Z. (2018). Archaeorhynchus preserving significant soft tissue including probable fossilized lungs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201805803.

 

Wang etal 2018 Archaeorhynchus lungs.pdf

 

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Coco

Hi,

 

@auspex

 

Coco

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Auspex

Wonderful!

Perhaps better to say "traces of lungs", though.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

@Auspex In all honesty, I actually did consider mentioning 'traces' in my previous post... want me to rectify it?

-Christian

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Auspex
50 minutes ago, The Amateur Paleontologist said:

@Auspex In all honesty, I actually did consider mentioning 'traces' in my previous post... want me to rectify it?

-Christian

Oh, sorry! I was not being critical of you!
I only wanted to reinforce the point for the record.
I thank you for posting this terrific discovery. :)

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The Amateur Paleontologist
5 minutes ago, Auspex said:

Oh, sorry! I was not being critical of you!
I only wanted to reinforce the point for the record.
I thank you for posting this terrific discovery. :)

No worries - glad you like the post :)

-Christian

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Walt
1 hour ago, Auspex said:

Perhaps better to say "traces of lungs", though.

You lost me. 

Everything I read in the paper indicates a fossilized lung.  Would not "traces of lungs" be something like a cast or impression?

 

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DPS Ammonite

Congratulations to the Chinese for supporting the research of their wonderful fossils.

 

Here is an earlier study of a bird with a really long coiled windpipe: 

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/phys.org/news/2018-06-song-distant-fossil-pheasant-china.amp

 

Song from the distant past, a new fossil pheasant from China preserves a super-elongated windpipe

June 1, 2018
Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Auspex
42 minutes ago, Walt said:

Would not "traces of lungs" be something like a cast or impression?

The remnants are described as "probable". I believe that the interpretation is a strong one, but that other possibilities have not been ruled out.

It is not in contention that this bird had lungs, only that their interpretation of the traces can be accepted as a given.;)

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Walt
2 minutes ago, Auspex said:

but that other possibilities have not been ruled out.

gotcha!  Thanks!

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Walt

Here is a news article loosely tied to the bird lung topic.  https://www.foxnews.com/science/dinosaurs-may-have-had-bird-like-superlungs

 

I found a comment in the article to be very curious though.  It said, "These lungs would have kept a continuous stream of oxygen coming in while at the same time using less energy to inflate and deflate the lungs. The dinosaurs needed this oxygen too, as some studies indicate that their air was only 10­ to 15 percent oxygen. For comparison, the Earth’s air is 20 percent oxygen today." 

This statement implies that the dinosaur's muscles and organs were geared to operate in a higher oxygen environment and they needed superlungs to survive.  Wouldn't their muscles and organs adapt to the environment they were in, and not some future environment?  

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