Archaeopteryx regains Bird status
Fossil creature Archaeopteryx that lived about 150 million years ago is back on its perch. It has again been brought in the class of Birds.
- Archaeopteryx fossil was discovered in 1861 in Germany.
- It possessed part-bird, part-reptile traits with broad wings and feathers like a bird, but it also had three-fingered claws, sharp teeth and a long bony tail similar to a dinosaur.
- Classified as most primitive bird and as a transition b/w feathered dinosaurs and modern birds.
- Some fossil discoveries of feathered dinosaurs in northeastern China over the past two decades have challenged Archaeopteryx’s place in bird evolution.
- In July 2012, Chinese scientists excavated Xiaotingia zhengi, a previously unknown chicken-sized dinosaur. They carried out a statistical analysis of its anatomical traits that placed it in a group of bird-like dinosaurs called deinonychosaurs.
- Recently an international team led by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences used more sophisticated statistical method to confirm the creature as Bird.