Researchers Reveal that Archaeopteryx Could Fly

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Archaeopteryx is the name given for a fossil that exists at the Late Jurassic of Germany. For hundreds of years it remained a mystery for researchers, as it appeared to be a mix between dinosaurs and flying birds. One of the hardest things to understand was how the locomotory system worked.

Now it appears that scientists finally managed to obtain more information about the Archaeopteryx. They analyzed three different specimens and they were able to come to a conclusion. It appears that the wings allowed them to fly.

Unique flying style

The bones and the body of the Archaeopteryx always seemed to indicate that the dinosaur should have been able to fly. Now its architecture has been analyzed closely and it revealed that it was truly able to fly, but in a unique way. It appears that the Archaeopteryx shares some traits with birds that use short distance flapping. Therefore, it is believed that the flying style resembled somehow that one that can be spotted at pheasants.

“We immediately noticed that the bone walls of Archaeopteryx were much thinner than those of earthbound dinosaurs but looked a lot like conventional bird bones. Data analysis furthermore demonstrated that the bones of Archaeopteryx plot closest to those of birds like pheasants that occasionally use active flight to cross barriers or dodge predators, but not to those of gliding and soaring forms such as many birds of prey and some seabirds that are optimised for enduring flight, declared Dennis Voeten, the lead author of the study.

The study was realized by a team from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, in France, the Palacký University in the Czech Republic, as well as others. They used phase-contrast synchrotron microtomography which is a technique that allowed them to analyze the bones without damaging them.

Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.


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