Archaeopteryxshook the scientific world when it was announced in 1861. This small crow-sized creature had large feathers but also retained primitive reptilian features including sharp teeth, hands, and a long bony tail. This ‘missing link’ between reptiles and birds helped to shape our understanding of dinosaur evolution. To this day,Archaeopteryxis still the most ancient fossil bird ever found, and one of the most famous fossils in the world. It lived in Germany during the late Jurassic, 150 million years ago.
Scientific Name:Archaeopteryx lithographica
Characteristics:Archaeopteryxwas a small carnivorous flying bird about the size of a crow. Its most striking characteristic is its long feathers which are essentially identical to those of modern birds. Its jaws were filled with tiny sharp teeth and it had a long feathered tail. It could walk on two long legs with four toes, and had three fingered hands.
Size and Color:This figure has a wingspan of 4.25 inches and is 3.75 inches long. It has black and white plumage similar to some modern birds.
The Archaeopteryx is part of the Wild Safari® Prehistoric World collection