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Photos: Mummified Bird Wings Preserved in Amber

Picture preparation

Mummified Bird Wings

(Image credit: Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM | R.C. McKellar))

One of the amber specimens sits suspended in a glycerin bath, a solution used to prepare the sample for photography at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada.

Ancient claw

Mummified Bird Wings

(Image credit: Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM | R.C. McKellar))

The Angel Wing specimen is seen here under a compound microscope. This view shows the pigment banding the feathers and the outline of a claw. [Read the Full Story on the Mummified Bird Feathers]

Reconstructed image

Mummified Bird Wings

(Image credit: Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM | R.C. McKellar))

This rendering of the Angel Wing specimen was taken at the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

Pale underside

Mummified Bird Wings

(Image credit: Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM | R.C. McKellar))

The underside of the Angel Wing specimen has pale plumage in contrast to the dark brown plumage on the topside.

Ultraviolet light

Mummified Bird Wings

(Image credit: Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM | R.C. McKellar))

The researchers used ultraviolet (UV) light to map the flow lines within the amber on the Angel Wing specimen.

Interlocking feathers

Mummified Bird Wings

(Image credit: Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM | R.C. McKellar))

A compound microscope shows the flight-feather barbs and interlocking barbules in the Angel Wing specimen. [Read the Full Story on the Mummified Bird Feathers]

Laura Geggel
As an associate editor for Live Science, Laura Geggel covers general science, including the environment, archaeology and amazing animals. She has written for The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site covering autism research. Laura grew up in Seattle and studied English literature and psychology at Washington University in St. Louis before completing her graduate degree in science writing at NYU. When not writing, you'll find Laura playing Ultimate Frisbee.