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Cretaceous Thanksgiving

Feathered dino ate true bird

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3:16pm, November 23, 2011

More than 120 million years before the first Thanksgiving — before the first turkey even — at least one dinosaur was feasting on a bird.

A fossil Microraptor gui from northeastern China — still a dinosaur despite winglike feathers on all four limbs — has bird bones in its abdomen, report Jingmai O’Connor and her colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The position of the bird feet and partial wing suggest the dinosaur swallowed some now-extinct, tree-perching bird whole, the researchers contend in a paper published online November 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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