October 12, 2016 – Archaeopteryx (Archaeopteryx lithographica)

1,000th Bird

Requested by: @lady-lutra and @purdyssciencecorner

About the size of ravens, these prehistoric animals lived 145 million years ago during the Tithonian stage of the late Jurassic period. Their wing and tail feathers were similar to those of modern birds, suggesting at least some ability to fly or glide. The shape of their teeth indicates that they were probably carnivores and may have eaten small reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and insects. Twelve specimens have been found in Germany. When the first specimen, a single feather, was discovered in 1861, it was thought to be a hoax. Though there has been some scientific controversy over whether to classify them as birds or not, they were one of the first fossil discoveries to show a connection between modern birds and other dinosaurs.

Note: I’ve tried to keep this reconstruction of the Archaeopteryx as accurate as I can, but I definitely used my imagination to fill in some of the details.

I want to thank everyone again for your nominations and votes for my 1,000th bird! There was a great response and the voting got very close. It’s hard to believe I’ve made it to 1,000 and you’ve all been a big part of that. I’m grateful to everyone who has liked, followed, requested birds, or shared their bird stories or photos with me.


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