The Avian-Reptilian wonder Archaeopteryx

The wondrous nature has opened up its basket and this time we bring you the story of Archaeopteryx. Often referred to as “transitional fossil” for its unique combination of characteristics of dinosaurs and modern birds by the Paleontologists. This avian –reptilian was discovered way back in 1861 in the Deutschland (Germany). Have you ever wondered as to how this oldest known fossil animal live on this earth 150 million years ago? A mere utterance of this question instigates my inquisitiveness about Archaeopteryx and compels me to learn more.

Image Courtesy : dynamicwork.net
Image Courtesy : dynamicwork.net
The word “Archaeopteryx derives its roots from Greek words ‘archaios’ which means ancient and ‘pteryx’ which means wing or feather. The Tithonian stage that existed at the end of the Jurassic period is considered to be the Archaeopteryx era. This was the time when this so called “dinobird” lived. I’m referring to it as “dinobird” because several thesis have prompted it to be a dinosaur while other findings suggest that it was a basal bird.

The Argument continues:

The 21st  century discoveries emerged with several attempts to reclassify Archaeopteryx as a dinosaur based on archeological research and studies of other birdlike fossils bearing the same age like the Xiaotingia zhengi. Many anatomic characteristics of Archaeopteryx match to that of the Theropods. Theropods are nothing but Carnivorous dinosaurs. The three fingers bore claws.The fully grown teeth structure, the tail, and the skeleton suggests its inclination towards the theropods like dromaeosaurids and troodontids. On the other hand one cannot deny the existence of feathers, backbone air sacs, breastbone, wishbone and the like anatomic characteristics of birds too. The only exception to this argument is that the skeleton structure required for high flights was poorly developed. This meant that the dinobird was a basal bird like animal. Myriads of research studies are continuously monitoring the specimens to finalize on the accurate answer.

Archaeopteryx is believed to be carnivorous*carnivorous*
➤ (a) relating to or characteristic of carnivores
➤ (a) (used of plants as well as animals) feeding on animals
…by BeeDictionary.com
in nature and so it might have survived on small insects, tiny reptiles and amphibians.

Archaeopteryx might have been smaller in size and structure but has been able to garner*garner*
➤ (n) a storehouse for threshed grain or animal feed
➤ (v) acquire or deserve by one's efforts or actions
➤ (v) store grain
➤ (v) assemble or get together
…by BeeDictionary.com
full fledged*fledged*
➤ (a) (of birds) having developed feathers or plumage; often used in combination
➤ (s) (of an arrow) equipped with feathers
…by BeeDictionary.com
attention of the world.

Reference :

http://www.britannica.com/animal/Archaeopteryx

http://www.livescience.com/24745-archaeopteryx.html