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2009 Science News of the Year

In 2009, scientists announced the discovery of Anchiornis huxleyi.

A. huxleyi, the oldest known bird-like dinosaur, lived in what is now northeastern China between 151 million and 161 million years ago. The animal sported two types of feathers. One kind, which resemble the feathers of modern-day birds, adorned the creature’s feet and lower legs as well as its forelimbs — an arrangement that may have made the creature clumsy on the ground and upholds the notion that flight originated from the trees down. Other fossils found were partially covered with stiff, unbranched filaments. The science world cites this discovery as important in filling a gap in the transition between the body plans of flying avian birds and non-avian dinosaurs.

For more information:



  • Life restoration of Anchiornis huxleyi by paleoartist Julius T. Csotonyi
  • Paleontology and Geology of Missouri is a Paleontological research project based in St. Louis, Missouri, devoted to the study of the geological formations in Missouri. Primary focus is the study of the geological formations in the St. Louis area. The site also provides great paleontological links.
  • The Paleontological Society is an international nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of the science of paleontology.
  • The Palaeontological Association was founded in 1957 and has become one of the world's leading learned societies in this field. The Association is a registered charity that promotes the study of palaeontology and its allied sciences through publication of original research and field guides, sponsorship of meetings and field excursions, provision of web resources and information and a program of annual awards.
  • The Paleontology Portal is a resource for anyone interested in paleontology, from the professional in the lab to the interested amateur scouting for fossils to the student in any classroom.

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