The finest specimen of one of the most important discoveries in the history of science.
The scientific importance of Archaeopteryx derives from a variety of skeletal features. The Thermopolis Specimen -the most complete yet found - displays many of these significant characteristics.
The skull contains a mouthful of sharp, serrated teeth. No modern birds have teeth. This shows that Archaeopteryx is a feathered dinosaur, not "the first bird" as previously believed.
Although faint, the impressions of feathers can be seen attached to the arms. These impressions reveal the structure, size, even the color of Archaeopteryx's prehistoric plumage.
This fulcra - or wishbone - is an excellent example of Archaeopteryx's links to dinosaurs and modern birds. Many dinosaurs had wishbones - even dinosaurs are large as Tyrannosaurus.
The presence of a hyperextensible second toe - and a curved "killing claw" - proves that Archaeopteryx is a maniraptorian, a small theropod dinosaur closely related to the famous Velociraptor.
The tail is long and rigid - just like a dinosaur - and surrounded by impressions of bird - like feathers. This is why Archaeopteryx is described as a "missing link" in evolution.
For more information about the Thermopolis Specimen:
Mayr, G.; Phol, B.; Hartman, S.; Peters, D. S. (2007). "The tenth skeletal specimen of Archaeopteryx". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 149: 97–116.