Archaeopteryx is one of the most important fossils ever discovered. It is a flying dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic, about 150 million years ago. It shows the evolutionary link between non-avian theropod dinosaurs and birds, but it is not the ancestor of modern birds.
|The Berlin Archaeopteryx specimen (A. siemensii).|
Meyer, 1861 (conserved name)
Archaeopteryx was a small carnivorous dinosaur with feathers and wings. It had a mouth with teeth, claws on the hands and a long tail. Today, it is known that dromaeosaurs, and possibly most other extinct theropods, looked like birds and that many had feathers. When they are born, today's South American hoatzin have claws on their wings when they are young, just like Archaeopteryx.