sábado, 22 de octubre de 2011

Fossils - Another stunning Archaeopteryx fossil found in Germany

Archaeopteryx is one of the world's most iconic prehistoric animals - a dinosaur caught in the midst of evolving into a bird, some 155 million years ago. In German it's the urvogel, loosely translated as the original bird, as it was, until recently, believed to be the earliest bird species. 

The new Archaeopteryx fossil from Germany [Credit: Helmut Tischlinger]

This new fossil, complete except for its head, is only the eleventh Archaeopteryx skeleton ever discovered. Like every other, it was found in Germany. The first was a single feather, recognised 150 years ago, just two years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species. 

The bones and feathers are nearly as well preserved as those of the famed Berlin specimen, says the Oliver Rauhut, curator of the Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology. Some specimens are only partial, including one that palaeontologists have called the "chicken wing". 

The anonymous private owner of the new Archaeopteryx has registered it as a German national heritage object, and made it available to Rauhut and other scientists. It will be displayed on 28 to 30 October at the Munich Mineral show.  

 New Scientist

Source: The Archaeology News Network

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