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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first detailed look at the ancestor of modern birds -- a grebe-like waterbird that would look normal even today -- was shown off Thursday by scientists who discovered fossil remains in a remote lake bed in China.
"A world lost for more than 100 million years was being revealed to us," as layers of mud were peeled back like the pages of a book, said Hai-lu You of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences.
What they found is being called the missing link on the evolution of birds, a creature that lived in northwest China and is the earliest example of modern birds that populate the planet today.