- from Birds
The first known bird appeared about 150 million years ago, when dinosaurs walked the planet.
Fossils of this creature were discovered in 1861, and scientists called the crow-size bird archaeopteryx (ahr-kee-OP-ter-iks), which means “ancient wing.” It was the first creature known to have feathers.
Unlike all modern birds, the archaeopteryx had jaws lined with sharp teeth, a relatively flat breastbone, and a long bony tail. We don’t know if its feathers were for retaining body heat, like a permanent sweater, or for flight. Many scientists believe this creature was a transitional animal. It existed between dinosaurs and the birds we see flying around today.