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A New, Prehistoric Bird Sheds Light on How They Took to the Skies

An artist’s reconstruction of what Fukuipteryx prima may have looked like. (Credit: Masanori Yoshida)

It was a typical Japanese summer — hot, humid and cloudy — when archaeologists pulled a well-preserved, fossilized bird from the ground in 2013. Their find, announced this week in Nature Communications Biology, might change our idea of what adaptations were essential to the development of flight.

Close to Flight

Named Fukuipteryx prima, the archaeologists date the bird to the Earl