Archaeopteryx (pronounced Archee-opter-iks) which means “early wing” was discovered in 1861 in Germany. Scientists believed Archaeopteryx was part bird and part reptile because they believed it possessed both parts. However, the truth is Archaeopteryx was a bird! He had perching feet, the wings of a bird, feathers that were identical to feathers of modern birds, a bird-like skull, and a furcula (wishbone). Above all that, he flew.
Furthermore, although the first fossils of Archaeopteryx were discovered about 142 years ago, and others have been found since, not a single transitional form between Archaeopteryx and a reptile, or between Archaeopteryx and any other bird has ever been found. If reptiles did, indeed, evolve into birds, thousands of intermediate stages had to live and die, thus leaving evidence through fossil remains. Even the tenth specimen they found of Archaeopteryx was the same as the first one they found.
Scientists long thought the claws on the wings of Archaeopteryx was evidence of a transition between reptiles and birds. But this is not the case, there is three birds living today that have claws on their wings. The ostrich, the hoatzin (claws on its wings when it is young), and the touraco. The ostrich with its three claws on each wing even appears more reptilian than those of the Archaeopteryx. But no one would dare suggest that any of these three birds are intermediates between reptiles and birds because they are very much alive and well today.
Recently, in northeastern China in the Liaoning Province they discovered a new fossil which they think is 10 million years older than Archaeopteryx. But scientists are sceptical of this new find called Auronis xui because they think it may have been altered before scientists had a chance to study it. Like the fossil they found in China in 1999 called Archaeoraptor liaoningensis. It was found also in Liaoning Province, but was a hoax staged by shady fossil traffickers in China. Are they trying again to make this link between reptile and bird? This recent fossil they found is about the size of a chicken. Will it be called also the Piltdown Chicken? Only time will tell.
Archaeopteryx was a true bird, especially created by God and preserved for us in the fossil record. It was a bird that was created on the fifth day of Creation week.
On May 30, 2013, in the journal “Nature“, Archaeopteryx was classified back in the bird category from their analysis of the specimens of Archaeopteryx. What took them so long?
For more information on Archaeopteryx go to http://www.wikipedia.com .