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First known bird fossil unveiled at Chicago's Field Museum

Chicago's Field Museum unveils fossil of first-known bird
Chicago's Field Museum unveils fossil of first-known bird 01:00

CHICAGO (CBS) — It's something out of Jurassic Park, except it's real.

For the first time, a new fossil has just been uncovered. The Field Museum unveiled the new find on Monday. 

It's a small fossil of the first known bird.

Field Museum

It's not only the best of its kind ever found, it's also the only one on exhibit at any major museum.

This fossil, called an Archaeopteryx (pronounced ar-key-AHP-ter-icks), is helping paleontologists study how birds evolved, becoming the only dinosaurs to survive the mass extinction that even took out Sue and other T-Rexes like her.

1 Delaney Drummond

"Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine I would be able to study one of the best specimens of this iconic species. I am blown away by how much information the Chicago Archaeopteryx has revealed in just a few months I have been able to study it," said Field Museum paleontologist Jingmai O'Connor. 

Field Museum

"Illinois has always been a home for those looking to learn, explore, and expand their horizons— and I'm so glad that now, visitors to the Field Museum will be able to do so by learning about Archaeopteryx," said Gov. JB Pritzker. 

"This acquisition is another jewel in the Field's  fossil collection, and I'm certain this one-of-a-kind experience will bring visitors and curious minds to Chicago to explore the earliest known bird."   

The Field Museum said that research will be published in the near future.

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