Original paper

The oldest fossil feather from Europe

Schweigert, Günter; Tischlinger, Helmut; Dietl, Gerd


We describe a fossil feather from Nusplingen, an Upper Jurassic Solnhofen-type Fossil-lagerstätte in SW Germany. It is Late Kimmeridgian in age and thus stratigraphically older than the isolated Archaeopteryx feather from the Lower Tithonian of Solnhofen, Bavaria, described in 1861. The features of the new find are unique, therefore it is impossible to identify the animal from which this feather came, but despite this uncertainty, the specimen may play an important role in our understanding of the evolution of feathers.


jurassiclithographic limestonesnusplingenevolutionarchaeopteryx