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A small extinct vertebrate of the genus Archaeopteryx of the Jurassic Period, having feathered wings with claws and a long toothed snout. It has been classified variously as a prehistoric bird and as a theropod dinosaur.
1. (Animals) any of several extinct primitive birds constituting the genus Archaeopteryx, esp A. lithographica, which occurred in Jurassic times and had teeth, a long tail, well-developed wings, and a body covering of feathers
2. (Palaeontology) any of several extinct primitive birds constituting the genus Archaeopteryx, esp A. lithographica, which occurred in Jurassic times and had teeth, a long tail, well-developed wings, and a body covering of feathers
[C19: from archaeo- + Greek pterux winged creature]
ar•chae•op•ter•yx(ˌɑr kiˈɒp tə rɪks)
a reptilelike feathered fossil bird of the genus Archaeopteryx, from the late Jurassic Period, having teeth and a long tail.
[1855–60; < New Latin < Greek archaio- archaeo- + ptéryx wing]
An extinct primitive bird of the Jurassic Period, having characteristics of both birds and dinosaurs. Like dinosaurs, it had a long, bony tail, claws at the end of its fingers, and teeth. Like birds it had wings and feathers. Many scientists regard it as evidence that birds evolved from small meat-eating dinosaurs. See Note at bird.
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|Noun||1.||archaeopteryx - extinct primitive toothed bird of the Jurassic period having a long feathered tail and hollow bones; usually considered the most primitive of all birds|
bird - warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings