The archaeopteryx shows characteristics of both birds and reptiles. It is probably the ancestor of birds.
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The Archaeopteryx lived in the Late Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago; it is the oldest known bird.
Its body length was up to a half meter (1.64 ft), that is about the size of a raven. The animal is a transitional form between dinosaurs and birds.
As such, it exhibited several traits characteristic of dinosaurs: it had teeth and a long bony tail. Several anatomical features suggest reptilian ancestry, such as the pelvis, which resembled that of reptiles, and the three fingers with claws on the wings.
The first fossil related to the Archaeopteryx was a fossilized feather found in Germany in 1861. Since then several other fossils have been found in Germany, some of which included a full skeleton and plumage.
The animation demonstrates the most important types of feathers and their fine structure.
An extinct group of Cephalopoda, with solid external skeletons. They are excellent index fossils.
This animation presents some animals and plants that lived between the Devonian and Permian periods (358-299 million years ago).
This animation demonstrates birds' bones and eggs through the example of the common blackbird.
The characteristic colors of the common kingfisher aid the bird in catching its prey.
Deinonychus antirrhopus, the "terrible claw", was a carnivorous dromaeosaurid dinosaur.
Penguins are birds living in the Antarctic and adapted to cold temperature and swimming.
The last Ice Age ended about 13 thousand years ago.
The ‘upright man’ used tools and could set fire.
Geckos can walk on walls or even ceilings. The 3D scene explains this ability.
A prehistoric amphibian and an early representative of the Tetrapods, which became extinct 360 million years ago.
This animation demonstrates the anatomy of birds through the example of mallards.
Marsh harriers are birds of prey found almost worldwide.
A prehistoric flying reptile, similar to birds. However, there is no direct evolutionary link between the two.
Quetzalcoatlus was one of the largest known flying animals of all time.
The saker falcon is a large bird of prey widespread in Europe and and Asia.
The ancestors of Arachnida and Crustacea belonged to the class Trilobita.
Groups of western jackdaws are frequently found in cities. Konrad Lorenz analysed the complex social behaviour of these animals.
Extinct proboscidea closely related to today's elephants, often hunted by prehistoric man.
The Earth's continents have been in constant motion during the history of the planet.
Chameleons are reptiles with an ability to change their colors.
Long-necked herbivorous dinosaur with a robust body.
Fish-like marine dinosaurs which resembled dolphins; a good example of convergent evolution.
A type of prehistoric reptile having bony plates on its back, which aided thermoregulation.
A transitional form between fish and tetrapods, or four-limbed vertebrates.
Large carnivores, perhaps the best known of dinosaurs.
A type of herbivorous dinosaur easily recognizable by its large frill and three horns which lived in the Cretaceous period.
Living fossil, important stage in the evolution of tetrapods.