Period of life: 145-150 MYA
Habitat: Forests, lagoons
Length: 60 cm
Archaeopteryx is the oldest Jurassic period feathered dinosaur. With its blend of avian and reptilian features, it was long viewed as the earliest known bird. It wandered through Germany airspace about 150-145 million years ago. It was the most primitive transitional specimen between non-avian dinosaurs and modern birds.
The Archaeopteryx resembled dinosaur and bird bio-typology in equal measure. Its size was estimated at 60 centimetres from a beak to the end of a tail and 500-1000 grams weight. Archaeopteryx brain volume studies revealed that it was thrice as much as contemporary reptiles’ brain volume and equal to the modern birds’ brain size.
Remiges (wing flight feathers) flapping motions played a crucial role in aerodynamically favorable interaction with airflow. Archaeopteryx contour feathers defined the body outline and provided the reptile’s colour and shape. Keel bone and supracoracoideus tendon lack, shoulder joint minor angle alongside with wing loading estimation suggests that the animal’s powered flight differed from most known birds so it could only glide in the air. Hypothetically, it was unable to adequately fly in all directions, but glide beautifully only.
The Archeopteryx shared many anatomic characters not with birds but with dinosaur’s i.e. pelvic bones position: the pubic bone was directed backwards. Unlike living birds Archaeopteryx had well-developed small sharp teeth and the pre-maxilla bones were subdivided. Moreover, the lack of a beak was bad luck for a dinosaur. However, Mother Nature gifted it a handsome tail.
Presumably, this flying hybrid inhabited an area with trees and shrubs. It was capable of feeding in both shrubs and open ground, as well as along the shores of the lagoon. Looking out for acceptable prey, often reptiles snapped it or seized it with huge claws.
Diet: Fish and insects
Length: 60 cm
Weight: 500-1000 grams
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