This is arguably the most famous fossil in the world. It is
also arguably the fossil that has started the most arguments
in the world.
Originally touted as evidence of dinosaur to bird evolution, Sir Frederick
Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasigne and others suggested it was a forgery.
Some are still convinced
it is, others never were. Regardless, it is an intriguing fossil to
One of the more common evolutionary beliefs today is that birds evolved
from dinosaurs. It was suggested that because Archaeopteryx had teeth
in its beak, claws on its wings, and feathers that it was an obvious "half
bird / half dinosaur".
There are several problems with that thinking: there are modern birds
which have teeth in their beaks and some that have claws on their wings -
nothing out of the ordinary there. Furthermore, two fossil birds which
we find today were found in rocks supposedly older
than Archaeopteryx. If birds
had evolved, they must have evolved before
Archaeopteryx, therefore Archaeopteryx is not the dino to bird intermediate.
Archaeopteryx is nothing more than an extinct bird - but it still has much
to reveal. Notice the head is arched back as far as it can go?
This is quite common in the fossil record - it is the death throe, the final
gasp as the creature desperately tried to get air. Archaeopteryx, like
so many other animals and birds captured suddenly in the fossil record, was
apparently buried alive - it died of asphyxiation. Although the size
of a small chicken, it has been compressed to the thickness of a chicken
burger - less than 2 centimeters thick! It was obviously compressed
to this thickness before it had become petrified (fossilized), not long
after it had been buried.
This fossil bird, like so many other fossilized animals, is a mute testament
to their rapid burial during the global flood of Noah's day.