Archaeopteryx shook 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, Archaeopteryx is 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.
- History: The first Archaeopteryx skeleton was announced in 1861 after being excavated by quarrymen from the Solnhofen Limestone deposits of Bavaria, Germany. Earlier that year an isolated feather had been described from the same deposits under the name of Archaeopteryx, or ‘ancient feather’. It was clear that the partially articulated fossil skeleton, which was preserved in stunning detail with a fan of feathers spreading from its arms and tail, belonged to the same remarkable creature.
- Scientific Name: Archaeopteryx lithographica
- Characteristics: Archaeopteryx was 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, as this Archaeopteryx toy accurately replicates. 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: 4.25 x 3.75 inches
Non-toxic and BPA free