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      Comment on the letter of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) dated April 21, 2020 regarding “Fossils from conflict zones and reproducibility of fossil-based scientific data”: Myanmar amber

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          Mid-Cretaceous amber fossils illuminate the past diversity of tropical lizards

          Exquisitely preserved fossil lizards from 99-million-year-old Burmese amber provide new insights into paleotropical diversity.
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            Mummified precocial bird wings in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber

            Our knowledge of Cretaceous plumage is limited by the fossil record itself: compression fossils surrounding skeletons lack the finest morphological details and seldom preserve visible traces of colour, while discoveries in amber have been disassociated from their source animals. Here we report the osteology, plumage and pterylosis of two exceptionally preserved theropod wings from Burmese amber, with vestiges of soft tissues. The extremely small size and osteological development of the wings, combined with their digit proportions, strongly suggests that the remains represent precocial hatchlings of enantiornithine birds. These specimens demonstrate that the plumage types associated with modern birds were present within single individuals of Enantiornithes by the Cenomanian (99 million years ago), providing insights into plumage arrangement and microstructure alongside immature skeletal remains. This finding brings new detail to our understanding of infrequently preserved juveniles, including the first concrete examples of follicles, feather tracts and apteria in Cretaceous avialans.
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              A Late Cretaceous amber biota from central Myanmar

              Insect faunas are extremely rare near the latest Cretaceous with a 24-million-year gap spanning from the early Campanian to the early Eocene. Here, we report a unique amber biota from the Upper Cretaceous (uppermost Campanian ~72.1 Ma) of Tilin, central Myanmar. The chemical composition of Tilin amber suggests a tree source among conifers, indicating that gymnosperms were still abundant in the latest Campanian equatorial forests. Eight orders and 12 families of insects have been found in Tilin amber so far, making it the latest known diverse insect assemblage in the Mesozoic. The presence of ants of the extant subfamilies Dolichoderinae and Ponerinae supports that tropical forests were the cradle for the diversification of crown-group ants, and suggests that the turnover from stem groups to crown groups had already begun at ~72.1 Ma. Tilin amber biota fills a critical insect faunal gap and provides a rare insight into the latest Campanian forest ecosystem.
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                Journal
                PalZ
                PalZ
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0031-0220
                1867-6812
                September 2020
                August 01 2020
                September 2020
                : 94
                : 3
                : 431-437
                Article
                10.1007/s12542-020-00524-9
                7ba7337d-f493-4ece-9a4f-295986748b60
                © 2020

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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