Scientists were perusing an amber market in Myanmar when they stumbled across a truly extraordinary specimen, National Geographic reports.
A Chinese paleontologist found a specimen, the size of a dried apricot, at an amber market in northern Myanmar near the Chinese border.
In the hunk of amber was part of a mummified dinosaur skeleton has been discovered.
The findings, published in the December issue of current biology, shed light on how dinosaurs looked.
The tail section belonged to a young Coelurosaurian, which is a species from the same group of dinosaurs as the predatory velociraptors and the tyrannosaurus.
However, this dinosaur was quite small; the sparrow-sized creature could have fit in the palm of a hand.
The amber, which weighs six-point-five grams, contains bone fragments and feathers, adding to mounting fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feather rather than scales.
Paleontologists say the creature would have had a whip-like tail like a mouse but was covered with contour feathers similar to those that give shape and color to birds. The amber preserved pigmentation from the feathers allowing the scientists to assess how it appeared. The feathers suggest the creature was chestnut brown and white.
Paleontologists say while soft tissue and decayed blood from the tail were found in the amber, no genetic material was preserved.