Scientists to reclassify Archaeopteryx after Chinese fossil find
Scientists are preparing to reclassify Archaeopteryx, which has been classified as the oldest bird for 150 years, as a member of the recently discovered group of dinosaurs with feathers and primitive wings.
The scientists have agreed to the reclassification of Archaeopteryx after the fossils of a two-legged feathered creature was discovered in China. The iconic fossils of Archaeopteryx were discovered in a Bavarian quarry in 1861 and have created a lot of controversy in the scientific community.
Some scientists believed that Archaeopteryx was the earliest example of the group of animals that parted ways with reptiles and formed distinctive features resembling those of birds.
Experts say that the reclassification will not change facts on the ground that Archaeopteryx possessed features that are both reptilian and avian as well as the fact that birds evolved from feathered dianosours.
"What this does is change our view of Archaeopteryx. For 150 years it's been our oldest and most prominent bird. Part of the reason why we should care about this is that Archaeopteryx is probably one of the most famous fossils ever," said Lawrence Witmer, professor of anatomy at Ohio University.