Archaeopteryx lived around 150 million years ago. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Durbed
The discovery has cemented Archaeopteryx as a transitional form between non-avian dinosaurs and birds.
Sporting bird-like feathered wings and sharp claws, this previously unrecognized ancestor of modern birds - which has been named Archaeopteryx albersdoerferi
- was discovered during a seven-year study which involved analyzing fossils using state-of-the-art 3D X-ray technology.
is one of the most important specimens of Archaeopteryx because it is around 400,000 years younger than any of the others found so far," said study lead author Martin Kundrat from the University of Pavol Jozef Safarik in Slovakia.
"This is the first time that numerous bones and teeth of Archaeopteryx were viewed from all aspects including exposure of their inner structure."
"The use of synchrotron microtomography was the only way to study the specimen as it is heavily compressed with many fragmented bones partly or completely hidden in limestone."
The study authors believe that the new species was better at flying than some of its predecessors.
"Our analysis has shown that Archaeopteryx albersdoerferi
shares more features in common with modern birds than their dinosaurian ancestors," said Professor Per Ahlberg.
Source: EurekAlert.org | Comments (2)
Archaeopteryx, Bird, Dinosaur