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Uploaded on Nov 4, 2009
Mark Norell, Chair of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, has published a new paper revealing the Archaeopteryx, once thought to be the first bird, was in fact a feathered dinosaur.
First found in Germany in the 1860's and dating to 150 million years ago, Archaeopteryx has long been considered the iconic first bird. But microscopic imaging of bone structure published in PLoS One shows that this famously feathered fossil grew much slower than living birds and more like non-avian dinosaurs.
"For a long time, Archaeopteryx was considered the archetypical bird primarily because it had feathers, although it retained typical dinosaur features like a long tail and teeth," said Norell. "But the discovery of classical bird features like feathers and wishbones have recently been found in many non-avian dinosaurs blurring the line of what constitutes a bird."