archaeopteryx


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  1. a reptilelike fossil bird of the genus Archaeopteryx, from the late Jurassic Period, having teeth and a long, feathered, vertebrate tail.

noun

  1. any of several extinct primitive birds constituting the genus Archaeopteryx, esp A. lithographica, which occurred in Jurassic times and had teeth, a long tail, well-developed wings, and a body covering of feathers
n.

oldest known fossil bird, 1859, Modern Latin, from archaeo- “ancient, primitive” + Greek pteryx “wing” (see pterodactyl).

  1. An extinct primitive bird of the genus Archaeopteryx of the Jurassic Period, having characteristics of both birds and dinosaurs. Like dinosaurs, it had a long, bony tail, claws at the end of its fingers, and teeth. Like birds it had wings and feathers. Many scientists regard it as evidence that birds evolved from small carnivorous dinosaurs. See Note at bird.
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