Scientists in north-east China dug up the remains of an unknown creature, which lived more than 124 million years ago and was part of the primitive bird group called enantiornithines.
They found signs of long feathers on its legs, while the tail feathers were very short compared with modern birds.
It's thought Archaeopteryx, the earliest known flying bird, had feathered legs, reports Daily Records.
According to Bloomberg, the finding from the Late Cretaceous period suggests that early birds had characteristics derived from their dinosaur ancestors. &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/07/25/33139.html' target=_blank>The bird embryo fossils from the more recent Upper Cretaceous period don't have any feathers, Zhonghe Zhou, a senior research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said in an e-mail.