The amber sample
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Dinosaur feathers Canadian amber could hold evolution key

Samples of amber in western Canada containing feathers from dinosaurs and birds have yielded the most complete story of feather evolution ever seen.

Eleven fragments show the progression from hair-like "filaments" to doubly-branched feathers of modern birds.

The analysis of the 80-million-year-old amber deposits is presented in Science.

Alexander Wolfe from the University of Alberta, said he was "initially bewildered" by the findings, "but all of a sudden it was like eureka".