The Early Cretaceous was when birds made their mark on earth. While still archaic, bird species advanced rapidly and began to distinguish themselves from their dino-bird lineage. Their tails began to disappear, wings became fuller and larger. Birds had streamlined the process of flying by developing feathers contouring the shape of the body making them more aerodynamic. Teeth, which were a heavy apparatus for eating, were getting smaller and in some species altogether disappearing in favor of lighter beaks. The loss of their ancestors’ long tails allowed for dynamic flight and increased maneuverability in the air – an adaptation that is still visible in today’s birds.
These images are sample illustrations from my new book Ancient Earth Journals – The Early Cretaceous
Confuciusornis sanctus wing detail
Enaliornis barretti foot detail
Explore the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous' wildlife including Theropods, Sauropods, Ornithischians, Pterosaurs and birds in the Ancient Earth Journal Series
Explore the animals we share earth with in the Animal Journal Series