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World's first bird discovered

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World's first bird discovered

Post by Pruthvi Bharadwaj on Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:51 am

World’s first bird discovered

A group of scientists, including one of Indian ethnic origin, have discovered the ‘world’s first bird’ that lived 235 million years ago.

In the landmark study, published by the Paleontological Association, experts unveiled an extraordinary prehistoric lizard-like ‘flying’ reptile which lived 235 million years ago.

The scientific community believes that birds descended from reptiles 50 million years later making the kuehneosaurs the world’s first ‘bird’, The Mail online said.

The long-extinct species, which inhabited the warm late Triassic period from 235 to 200 million years ago, was first discovered in the UK inside an ancient cave system near Bristol, the report said. According to experts, the kuehneosaurs, which grew up to 2 feet long, used extensions of their ribs to form large gliding surfaces on the sides of their body.

Earlier this year, experts from Bristol University built life-size models of the two types of kuehneosaurs found in the UK — kuehneosuchus and kuehneosaurus.

“Surprisingly, we found that kuehneosuchus was aerodynamically very stable. Jumping from a tree, it could easily have crossed 9m (29ft) before landing on the ground,” said German palaeobiologist Koen Stein, who led the study.

Stein, who now works in the German Institute of Palaeontology at Bonn, conducted the research with Colin Palmer, Pamela Gill and Michael Benton from Bristol University’s Department of Earth Sciences, the report said. — PTI

SOURCE:: THE HINDU

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