Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Skull of smallest-known bird embedded in 99-million-year-old amber
Scientists are marveling over the exquisitely preserved skull of what appears to be the smallest-known bird - tinier than any hummingbird - encased in 99-million-year-old amber and boasting many odd traits including jaws studded with numerous puny teeth. The skull, measuring about half an inch (14.25 mm) long, belongs to a bird called Oculudentavis khaungraae that lived during the Cretaceous Period in what is now northern Myanmar, the researchers said on Wednesday. None of the rest of the body was preserved, but the researchers estimated that Oculudentavis weighed about an ounce (28 grams) and measured 2 inches (5 cm) long including a hypothetical bony tail.
Joint Russian-European Mars mission postponed over coronavirus
A joint Russian-European mission to send a rover to Mars has been postponed by two years because its final phase has been compromised by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, the European and Russian space agencies said on Thursday. The launch of the second ExoMars mission was initially planned for July or August of this year. But the two space agencies said they were now postponing its launch until a date between August and October 2022.