Unique vocal organ enabling birds to sing 'developed 66 million years ago'
Birds developed the unique vocal organ that enables them to sing more than 66 million years ago when dinosaurs walked the Earth, a new fossil discovery has shown.
But the earliest syrinx, an arrangement of vibrating cartilage rings at the base of the windpipe, was still a long way from producing the lilting notes of a song thrush or blackbird.
Scientists believe the extinct duck and goose relative that possessed the organ was only capable of making honking noises.
The bird, Vegavis iaai, lived during the Cretaceous era. Although its fossil bones were unearthed from Vega Island in Antarctica... read more
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