Arts, Culture & Media

Evolution of a Natural Miracle

Archaeopteryx300.jpg

Archaeopteryx

The Geo Quiz will require some digging this time: We're looking for one of the oldest bird fossils ever found. It is called Archaeopteryx. We say "bird" and this one did have wings. But the primitive bird also came equipped with a reptilian tail.

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That made it look more like a dinosaur. It lived in the Late Jurassic period, around 150 million years ago in what is now southern Germany. It was found 150 years ago, two years after Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species." And the existence of this primitive bird seemed to support Darwin's theory of evolution.

So, in what state of Germany was this fossil discovered?

Answer: Bavaria. Conservation biologist Thor Hanson mentions the location in his book on the natural and cultural history of feathers. Feathers: the evolution of a natural miracle explains how the first fossil of a feathered creature was discovered in the village of Solnhofen, Bavaria. The World's Adeline Sire has more.