Archaeopteryx lithographica

Elizabeth F. T2

Archaeopteryx lithographica

Lived 151 million to 149 million years ago

during the Jurassic Period, Mesozoic Era

The Archaeopteryx lithographica was believed to be the first bird. It lived in what is now Germany, and was about the size of a raven, weighing 1.8 to 2.2 lbs. It has wings, along with wing feathers that have a similar structure and arrangement to most birds today. Its flat breastbone, which is found in reptiles, indicates that it wasn't a very strong flier. However, its hollow bones and light weight helps it get off the ground more easily. It also has well- developed teeth and three fingers that could move own their own. The A. lithographica has more in common with dinosaurs than birds, so it is now classified as a deinonychosaurs, which is a birdlike dinosaur.

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A. lithographica ate lizards, frogs, beetles, dragonflies, and mites. Although it had sharp claws, it didn't need them, since it did not hunt for its prey. Scientists believe the A. lithographica would use its wings to fly short distances in order to escape from its predators, spending most of its time on ground.
In around 1861, an A. lithographica skeleton was found near Langenaltheim, Germany. However, it was missing its skull and most of its neck vertebrae. Now, ten more specimens have been found, including one discovered by Jakob Niemeyer in 1876, around Eichstatt, Germany. It is now kept in the Humboldt Museum fur Naturkunde.

Works Cited

"Archaeopteryx :An Early Bird." Archaeopteryx. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <>.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Archaeopteryx (fossil Animal)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <>.

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. "Archaeopteryx: The Transitional Fossil." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 13 Nov. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <>.

"Jen Chandler Was Here: Thursday Travels & Thank Yous." Jen Chandler Was Here: Thursday Travels & Thank Yous. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <>.