(ancient wing)

What is an Archaeopteryx?

The archaeopteryx is the earliest recognized bird. It lived about 150 million years ago during the Tithonian stage in the late Jurassic period. It had a head, teeth and claws like a dinosaur or a reptile but it also had a larger brain, feathers, and the opposable toes of birds.
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  • Kingdom Animalia
  • Phylum Chordata
  • Class Archosauria
  • Order Saurischia
  • Family Archaeopteridae
  • Genus Archaeopteryx
  • Species A. lithographica


It was discovered in 1861, 2 years after Darwin published his book, The Origin of Species. This discovery gave more evidence that all organisms share a common ancestor. It was discovered in Southern Germany by a paleontologist named Hermann von Meyer.


Length: Up to 50 cm

Weight: 1.8 to 2.2 lbs

The archaeopteryx had jaws with sharp teeth (uncommon for birds), a long bony tail, and extendable claws. It was about the same size as a pigeon.


Because the archaeopteryx did not spend much time in trees, its diet mostly consisted of lizards, frogs, beetles, dragonflies, and different kinds of mites.
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