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At the time of writing, only a single fossil of the animal has been found. The animal was about the size of a sparrow and seems to be surprisingly advanced for a bird of this period. By comparison, Confuciusornis, another bird found in the same deposits (and therefore contemporaneous with Liaoningornis), has many relative primitive features, similar to those of Archaeopteryx.
Furthermore, there has been some controversy about dating Liaoningornis. Some scientists have argued that Liaoningornis is only slightly younger than Archaeopteryx, and if this is correct, it would make Liaoningornis even more surprising. Indeed, it has even been argued that relatively advanced early birds such as Liaoningornis might be a parallel lineage to the more primitive early birds such as Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis, and may perhaps even indicate that birds evolved earlier than most scientists currently believe.
Liaoningornis was a small bird that lived during the Cretaceous period, possibly between 130 and 125 million years ago
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