Archaeopteryx lithographica

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The first known bird, of which only six specimens and one feather imprint have been found, all of them from the Lithographic Limestone of the Solnhofen region of Bavaria, Germany. The bird was first described by H. von Meyer in 1861 and is of Middle Kimmeridgian (Late Jurassic) age. Work by several palaeontologists tends to support the theory that the birds, through Archaeopteryx, evolved from coelurosaur dinosaurs (Coelurosauria) similar to Compsognathus. The species A. lithographica possesses several primitive characters such as teeth, as well as specialized features such as feathers and hollow bones. It is a good example of a connecting species which exhibits a mosaic of evolutionary features.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Earth Sciences and Geography.

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