Thursday, October 23, 2008
New Species: Transition From Dinosaurs to Birds?
Archaeologists have unearthed a new fossil in northern China that might be a link between dinosaurs and birds.
Epidexipteryx hui, a small, feathered bird with a short tail and four (featherless) limbs, pre-dates Archaeopteryx, which lived 155 to 150 million years ago. Researchers believe Epidexipteryx may have existed from 176 to 146 million years ago (the Middle to Late Jurassic periods), and that it had large teeth similar to those of carnivores. They are not sure what the bird ate, but with 90% of the fossil’s remains recovered, researchers are in a good position to study the new creature.
Here are links to the article, as well as to the abstract in Nature (Nature 455, 1105-1108 (23 October 2008):