The incredible discovery which is sure to be one of the most important paleontological finds ever, is a world first and now scientists have a once in a lifetime opportunity to study a piece of dinosaur which has travelled millions of years through time intact.
It is believed the tail belonged to a flightless dinosaur that lived approximately 99 million years ago in the mid-Cretaceous period.
The specimen was found in north eastern Myanmar, in an amber mine. It is believed the tail belongs to a juvenile coelurosaur, which is a type of therapod.
“This is the first time we’ve found dinosaur material preserved in amber,” said study co-author Ryan McKellar of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada.
“We can be sure of the source because the vertebrae are not fused into a rod or pygostyle as in modern birds and their closest relatives.”
8 vertebrae are perfectly preserved in the amber, with many small delicate feathers, coloured brown on top and white underneath.
“It’s amazing to see all the details of a dinosaur tail – the bones, flesh, skin, and feathers – and to imagine how this little fellow got his tail caught in the resin, and then presumably died because he could not wrestle free,” said study co-author Prof Mike Benton from the University of Bristol.