The findings, announced yesterday in the scientific journal Nature, indicate that "as early as 115 million years ago, birds had evolved a sophisticated structural system that enabled them to fly at low speeds and to attain high manoeuvrability," said the Spanish researchers. The new bird, named Eoalulavis hoyasi, offered another surprise - a full stomach. "Crustacean remains found inside its belly also provide the oldest direct evidence of feeding habits in birds," said the researchers. Charles ArthurReuse content
Afossil showing the first evidence of flight in birds has been found by archaeologists in Spain. The fossilised animal - the size of a goldfinch - lived in the Cretaceous era, at the same time as the dinosaurs. It is the earliest discovered with an "alula" - a flap of feathers at the front of the wing, which is essential in modern birds for low-speed flight and manoeuvring.