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Scientists Say Species Is Earliest Known Bird

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You know what they say about the early bird? Well, a new species is vying for that title. Scientists have long-regarded an ancient creature, known as the Archaeopteryx, as the earliest bird known to science. But a discovery made in China could change that, according to a study published in Nature magazine. Scientists have found evidence of a feathered, chicken-sized species that's 10 million years older. It's called Aurornis xui, and it lived about 160 million years ago.

The question for science now: Is this the real early bird, or is it just a birdlike dinosaur with feathers? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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