150 million years ago, a hybrid creature, a dinosaur on the way to becoming a bird, died on today’s territory of Germany. It was unearthed in 1861 and, back then, it has been considered a clear evidence of the newly-elaborated Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Archaeopteryx is the first fossil that connects dinosaurs and birds
Archaeopteryx played an important role in studying both dinosaurs and birds and the first complete specimen was discovered in 1861, two years after Charles Darwin published the “Origin of Species”.
Archaeopteryx seemed to confirm Darwin’s theories and became evidence to demonstrate bird’s origins, demonstrating the theory.
Archaeopteryx lived in the Jurassic period with 150-145 million years ago, on the territory of Bavaria. Because of its both avian and reptilian traits, it has been considered an intermediate creature of between the two, otherwise different, species.
Archaeopteryx could reach up to 0.5 m and, despite its small size, Archaeopteryx had more things in common with a Theropod dinosaur than with modern birds.
The sharp teeth and the three clawed fingers prove that this animal was a predator.
Archaeopteryx resembled modern roadrunners, turkeys, and pheasants, according to the new study
In a recent research, Voeten and his colleagues from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France, examined the Archaeopteryx fossils by applying a synchrotron which is a strong radiations source.
The researchers examined the Archaeopteryx bones structures and compared the results of the investigation with already studied and explained samples of dinosaurs, flying birds, flightless birds, and nowadays crocodilians.
The Archaeopteryx presented the so-called “burst fliers” which Voeton explained as similar to the structures present in roadrunners, turkeys, and pheasants, which are birds that live mostly on the ground without flying, but which, when needed, can burst in flying at low altitudes and for short distances by a simple clasp of the wings.
According to this recent study, Archaeopteryx dinosaur-bird hybrid is now cataloged as a probable flying animal.