The stone plate is only as large as a sheet of paper. However, the Limestone found with the fossil Remains of a primeval bird from the Bavarian, Swabian Daiting is-as a scientific Sensation.

surveys have shown that there is a whole new way of the Archaeopteryx, which is also 400,000 years younger than all previously known specimens. You have more in common with modern birds than with their dinosaur ancestors, said Per Ahlberg of Uppsala University in Sweden. He was involved in the study, which was published in the Journal “Historical Biology”. Better than in previous studies, we could show conclusively that the so-called eighth Archaeopteryx was an original forerunner of the birds.

In the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), a major research facility in Grenoble, had been examined the Fossil with a high-resolution computer tomography. “It was the first Time that we were able to look at the many bones and teeth of Archaeopteryx from all sides, including their internal structure,” said lead author Martin Kundrát of the Pavol-Jozef-Safárik University in Kosice, Slovakia.

His bones were thinner than other specimens, and had air-filled cavities. In addition, the area was larger, the flight muscles were attached. The researchers were therefore Convinced that this Archaeopteryx had particularly good skills to fly.

Whether he flew or slid, is however still uncertain. Another Team had come in March, however, to the conclusion that these prehistoric birds were generally able to fly.

The feathered creature lived 150 million years ago and were a mixture of dinosaurs and birds. “He has a flight-capable feathers, but still has a long bone tail,” explains Daniela Black from the Museum für naturkunde in Berlin – a jaw with teeth instead of a horn beak. The wings are already designed to it, however, still with claws in the front. “There ancestors after the Archaeopteryx, a number of Bird,” says Black. 60 million years ago, there had been already right birds.

All twelve of the specimens of Archaeopteryx that have been discovered since the first discovery in 1861, originate from the Region of the altmühltal, or its vicinity, where the famous stone quarries of Solnhofen or Mörnsheim. “Here is the Northern edge of the urmittel sea”, explains the paleontologist Oliver Rauhut of the Bavarian state collection for palaeontology and Geology.

“These animals have lived here, apparently in an island archipelago in a tropical coral reef in the area.” Gorgeous – especially for researchers. Because in the shallow lagoons lime sludge, dead animals or fish was engulfed quickly, so that they were embedded in air-tight and petrified.

the Daitinger ancient bird could now be investigated, thanks to the palaeontologist Raimund Albers villages. A fossil collectors had discovered the valuable piece in 1990. After that, it was for many years considered lost and stored for many years in a small village in Bavaria. In 1996, the original bird appeared as a plastic cast in a show in Bamberg. The researchers were thrilled, but the reproduction was soon gone again without a trace, as well as the Original.

Albers villages remained persistent. “I haven’t researched it,” recalls the 53-Year-old. Because he was linked as a fossils dealer in the scene, he found a hot trail and was able to buy the original bird, 2008 finally. “I thought it was cool to have an Archaeopteryx.” In the case of the minerals days 2009 in Munich, he excited with his achievement, a great sensation. Then he presented his treasure to science. The researchers thanked him and named the new species Archaeopteryx albersdoerferi.

researchers Rauhut, however, is sceptical as to whether it is indeed a new type. The Archaeopteryx, you still have a very poor understanding of the division into species, says the paleontologist. The Daitinger specimen had been studied in addition, with an extremely detailed computer tomography. The question was, what one would find if one were to examine the other as well.

Albers villages, wants to show its valuable Fossil in a few days, publicly, in the dinosaur Museum, the altmühl valley in the upper Bavarian town, where an exhibition on pterosaurs to be running. Then the visitors take a picture of the Fossil, the researchers say: The Archaeopteryx albersdoerferi is one of the most mysterious prehistoric birds.


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