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Scientists unearth ‘most bird-like’ dinosaur ever found

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Researchers in Germany have unearthed a new species of flying dinosaur that flapped its wings like a raven and could hold vital clues as to how modern-day birds evolved from their reptilian ancestors.

For more than a century and a half since its discovery in 1861, Archaeopteryx — a small feathered dinosaur around the size of a crow that lived in marshland around 150 million years ago — was widely considered to be the oldest flying bird.

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Palaeontologists from Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich and the University of Fribourg examined rock formations in the German region of Bavaria, home to nearly all known Archaeopteryx specimens.

They came across a petrified wing, which the team initially assumed to be the same species. They soon found several differences, however.

“There are similarities, but after detailed comparisons with Archaeopteryx and other, geologically younger birds, its fossil remains suggested that we were dealing with a somewhat more derived bird,” said lead study author Oliver Rauhut from LMU’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

They called the new bird-like dinosaur Alcmonavis poeschli — from the old Celtic word for a nearby river and the scientist who discovered the fossil, excavation leader Roland Poeschl.

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The study, published in the journal eLife Sciences, said Alcmonavis poeschli was “the most bird-like bird discovered from the Jurassic”.

As well as being significantly larger than Archaeopteryx, the new specimen had more notches in its wing bones that pointed to muscles which would have allowed it to actively flap its wings.

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Significantly, this “flapping” trait found in Alcmonavis poeschli is present in more recent birds, but not in Archaeopteryx.

“This suggests that the diversity of birds in the late Jurassic era was greater than previously thought,” Rauhut said.

The discovery is likely to fuel debate among dinosaur experts over whether birds and dinosaurs developed the ability to flap their wings from earlier gliding species.

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“Its adaptation shows that the evolution of flight must have progressed relatively quickly,” said Christian Foth, from the University of Fribourg, and a co-author of the research.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s ‘oceanic ignorance’ has plunged the world into chaos and the US may never recover: NYT columnist

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On Saturday, New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg blasted President Donald Trump's foreign policy, saying that it was causing the world to "spiral into chaos."

"All over the world, things are getting worse," wrote Goldberg. "China appears to be weighing a Tiananmen Square-like crackdown in Hong Kong. After I spoke to [Pakistani ambassador Assad Majeed] Khan, hostilities between India and Pakistan ratcheted up further; on Thursday, fighting across the border in Kashmir left three Pakistani soldiers dead ... Turkey is threatening to invade Northeast Syria to go after America’s Kurdish allies there, and it’s not clear if an American agreement meant to prevent such an incursion will hold."

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2020 Election

Ex-Tea Party lawmaker perfectly nails why Trump is going down in 2020

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On Saturday, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) tweeted the simple reason he believes President Donald Trump will lose his bid for re-election in 2020:

Trump will lose in 2020 because the vast majority of America is tired of him. Tired of his bullshit. Tired of his drama. Just plain tired of him.

— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 17, 2019

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Illinois woman out of a job after calling for a return to slavery in this incredibly racist video

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According to a report from the Riverfront Times, an Illinois woman seen in a video using ugly racial slurs and calling for a return to slavery is now out of a job over her comments.

The reports states that the two women seen in the video, identified as Macy Castleman and Jayde Landers, claim it was recorded it three years ago but it just came to light again after Gabbi Goldsborough posted it to Facebook with the warning: "I love how people sit around & act like racism isn’t still a thing. macy castleman and jayde landers u have a lot of explaining to do."

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