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Scientific Classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Orders: Archaeopterygiformes
  • Family: Archaeopterygidae
  • Genus: Archaeopteryx
  • Species: A. lithographica
Binomial Name

Archaeopteryx lithographica

Archaeopteryx is an extinct bird that evolutionists argue possesses some reptilian-like features causing it to be classified as a evolutionary transitional form, and is considered the first of the so called feathered dinosaurs. It has been associated, geologically with the late Jurassic and dated by radiometric dating methods at 150 million years. According to the U.S. National Park Service (Dinosaur National Monument):

Fossils of Archaeopteryx, a little animal that lived in the middle of dinosaur times, do show traces of feathers, so it has often been called the first bird. But the skeleton of Archaeopteryx looks almost exactly like that of a small meat-eating dinosaur, right down to its tiny sharp teeth. So what was it- -a bird or a dinosaur? Some scientists think that Archaeopteryx was both: a warm-blooded, feathered dinosaur that became the ancestor of the birds.[1]


Archaeopteryx was a fully flying and perching bird (though it has an unfused spine, no bill, a reptilian skull, adult teeth, no reptilian snout and bony tail, features seen in no modern bird). Jonathan Sarfati speaks to its bird morphology.

Archaeopteryx had fully-formed flying feathers (including asymmetric vanes and ventral, reinforcing furrows as in modern flying birds), the classical elliptical wings of modern woodland birds, and a large wishbone for attachment of muscles responsible for the down stroke of the wings. Its brain was essentially that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex. The fact that it had teeth is irrelevant to its alleged transitional status—a number of extinct birds had teeth, while many reptiles do not. Furthermore, like other birds, both its maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) moved. In most vertebrates, including reptiles, only the mandible moves. Finally, Archaeopteryx skeletons had pneumatized vertebrae and pelvis. This indicates the presence of both a cervical and abdominal air sac, i.e., at least two of the five sacs present in modern birds. This in turn indicates that the unique avian lung design was already present in what most evolutionists claim is the earliest bird.[2]
Archaeopteryx fossil.

Avian features

  1. Feathers are present. No other modern animals except birds have feathers.
  2. Archaeopteryx had an opposable hallux (big toe). It is a character of birds and not dinosaurs. A reverse toe is however found in theropod dinosaurs and some other dinosaurs.
  3. Furcula (wishbone) formed of two clavicles fused together in the midline.
  4. Publis elongate and direct backwards.
  5. Bones are pneumatic.

Reptilian features

  1. Premaxilla and maxilla are not horn-covered (or bills are not present).
  2. Trunk region and vertebrae are fused. But in other birds they are always fused.
  3. Necks are attached to skull from the rear as in dinosaurs, not from below as in modern birds.
  4. Archaeopteryx had a long bony tail.
  5. Archaeopteryx had teeth.
  6. Nasal opening are far forward and are separated from the eye by a large preorbital fenestra (hole). This is typical of reptiles, but not of birds. Fenestra when present in birds when present is greatly reduced, and is involved in prokinesis (movement of the beak).

Recent discoveries seem to have shown that there are enough similarities between Archaeopteryx and Dromaeosaur that they can be considered varieties of the same created kind. This includes evidence from Dromaeosaur's feathers that it could fly. Archaeopteryx is dated as 20 million years older than Dromaeosaur. Archaeopteryx could not have evolved from Dromaeosaur. In fact Archaeopteryx is older than most of its alleged ancestors, which is a BIG problem for evolutionists, assuming total and complete replacement (thus extinction) of the original species.[Reference needed]




  1. Dinosaurs and Dinosaur National Monument by the U.S. National Park Service.
  2. Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution 2 Chapter 8 - Argument: The fossil record supports evolution. Greenforest AR: Master Books, 2002. (p131-132)

External links

Creationist References

Secular References

See Also