Flying on Wings and Legs

An ancient bird had feathers on its legs that may have helped it fly.

By Julie Rehmeyer, 00:00 AM September 21, 2006

A bird with feathered legs that help it fly may sound strange, but a scientist says that the earliest known bird could have used its legs in just that way.

Archaeopteryx lived 150 million years ago and had teeth and claws like a dinosaur, but wings and feathers like a bird. Feathers also covered its back legs, and a new report argues that these feathered legs acted like small extra wings.

A fresh look at a fossilized <span class=normal>Archaeopteryx</span> has shown that this ancient bird had feathers on its legs that may have helped it fly. The inset shows how the bird may have looked with feathers.

A fresh look at a fossilized Archaeopteryx has shown that this ancient bird had feathers on its legs that ...

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