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Introduction

Archaeopteryx lithographica is the earliest known bird. This fossil is a famous snapshot of evolution ‘in action’.Archaeopteryx lithographica has a combination of dinosaur and bird characters that demonstrate conclusively modern birds are the descendants of small meat-eating dinosaurs. So not all dinosaurs became extinct!Archaeopteryx lithographica had wings and feathers very like those of modern birds and a long bony feathered tail and was about the same size as a magpie.Archaeopteryx skeleton also has features in common with small meat-eating dinosaurs such as teeth with serrated edges and interdental plates and three fingers ending in claws.Archaeopteryx lived in Late Jurassic times, 147 million years ago where Germany is today.

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