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Science New species of 'loon-like' prehistoric birds found in southwest Saskatchewan

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum says it has identified four new species of prehistoric birds.

The find was announced in a journal paper by three authors who include the museum's head of paleontology, Tim Tokaryk.

They identified a family of loon-like, toothed, aquatic birds from about 65 million years ago based in part on fossils found in Grasslands National Park in southwest Saskatchewan.

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Mr. Tokaryk says the discovery is significant because it appears the birds were adapting — moving from a coastal marine habitat to inland freshwater rivers and lakes.

He suggests this pattern may mean that the birds, named Brodavidae (bro-DIV'-uh-die), may have been able to fly — unlike their flightless ancestors.

Officials say research will continue on the fossils already collected as will the search for more.

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