Archaeopteryx's leg feathers for display, researchers suggest

07/6/2014 | BBC

The Archaeopteryx, an early bird, had feathers everywhere on its body, including its hind legs, which researchers say lends credence to the belief that feathers originally evolved for purposes other than flight, according to a study published in Nature. "Given the great diversity of pennaceous feathers found within different body regions and across the phylogeny, it seems plausible that the evolution of this feather type (especially in the wing, hindlimbs and tail) was primarily driven by display functions," researcher Oliver Rauhut wrote in the report.

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