New fossil reveals that the earliest known bird had a companion which could ...

Archaeopteryx is widely believed to be the first bird to ever live, but it may not have been alone in the skies 150million years ago.  

A rival has been found to the famed flying dinosaur as archaeologists uncover the remains of a similar creature which may have even been a better aerial navigator.

It is thought to have been much larger than its more famous cousin but only a single, right-side wing of the bird was preserved.   

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The new species is thought to have been much larger than its more famous cousin but only a single, right-side wing of the bird was preserved (pictured)

The new species is thought to have been much larger than its more famous cousin but only a single, right-side wing of the bird was preserved (pictured)

The birds we see today are thought to be the descendants of carnivorous dinosaurs.

The oldest-known flying member of this lineage is Archaeopteryx, which bore feathered wings, sharp teeth and a long bony tail. 

Since its first fossil was found in 1861, Archaeopteryx has been the only bird-like dinosaur known from the Jurassic, the period between 199.6–145.5 million years ago. 

However, it now seems this early bird may not have been catching the worm alone.

Palaeontologist Oliver Rauhut of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and University of Fribourg geoscientist Christian Foth have reported the identification of a second bird-like dinosaur from the same period. 

The animal, which has been named Alcmonavis poeschli, was unearthed in Schaudiberg quarry, near Mörnsheim, in southern Germany's Altmühl Valley.

Only a single, right-side wing of the bird was preserved in the fossil, which dates back to around 150 million years ago.

'At first, we assumed this was another specimen of Archaeopteryx,' said Professor Rauhut.

'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,' he added.

'This suggests that the diversity of birds in the late Jurassic era was greater than previously thought.'

The birds we see today are thought to be the descendants of carnivorous dinosaurs. The oldest-known flying member of this lineage is Archaeopteryx, which bore feathered wings, sharp teeth and a long bony tail

The birds we see today are thought to be the descendants of carnivorous dinosaurs. The oldest-known flying member of this lineage is Archaeopteryx, which bore feathered wings, sharp teeth and a long bony tail

Archaeopteryx is widely believed to be the first bird to ever live, but it may not have been alone in the skies 150million years ago. An Archaeopteryx fossil was also unearthed from the same limestone unit as the new species, which suggests that the two creatures lived at the same time

Archaeopteryx is widely believed to be the first bird to ever live, but it may not have been alone in the skies 150million years ago. An Archaeopteryx fossil was also unearthed from the same limestone unit as the new species, which suggests that the two creatures lived at the same time 

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