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An extraordinary fossil skull belonged to the oldest modern bird ever found. The duck-sized Asteriornis maastrichtensis lived 66.7 million years ago, just 700,000 years before the asteroid impact that killed off all non-avian dinosaurs. Paleontologists were staggered to discover the skull when they used a computed tomography scan to look inside a rock found in Belgium in 2000 by an amateur fossil hunter.
Features & opinion
A new book by groundbreaking field biologist George Schaller enumerates the rare delights and thorny political challenges of field work in Mongolia.
Male and female scientists have similar rates of publication and citation, when controlling for the difference in their career lengths. An analysis of the publishing careers of almost 8 million scientists from 1900 to 2016 finds that women tend to have shorter careers — and the gap is growing. “Women are pretty similar to men, as long as they stay in the system and do not drop out,” says computational social scientist Roberta Sinatra.
In case you missed it on Friday, Briefing photo editor Tom Houghton hid a Rockhopper penguin in the scientifically fascinating Škocjan Caves in Slovenia for you. Can you find the penguin?
When you’re ready — here’s the answer!
Keep the laughs going with one of the most-loved Quirks of Nature cartoons ever: Enter here for a chance to win a framed print featuring the poetry stylings of a ‘haemato-poetic’ stem cell.
Good luck! Your feedback is always welcome at email@example.com.Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing