ar·​chae·​op·​ter·​yx | \ ˌär-kē-ˈäp-tə-riks How to pronounce archaeopteryx (audio) \

Definition of archaeopteryx

: a primitive crow-sized bird (genus Archaeopteryx) of the Upper Jurassic period of Europe having reptilian characteristics (such as teeth and a long bony tail)

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The highlight was the center’s most valuable display: a fossilized archaeopteryx from some 150 million years ago, one of 10 in the world (the others are all in Europe). Rachel Walker, idahostatesman, "A real Jurassic park lies underground at Wyoming Dinosaur Center," 12 May 2017 However, as a gesture of goodwill, Atheist Santa will leave your child with a set of wooden periodic-table blocks and a scale model of archaeopteryx. Lore Sjöberg, WIRED, "Alt.Santas Put the X Back in Xmas," 18 Dec. 2007 A birdlike creature that had teeth, a tail and wings, the archaeopteryx is roughly the size of a crow. Rachel Walker, idahostatesman, "A real Jurassic park lies underground at Wyoming Dinosaur Center," 12 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'archaeopteryx.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of archaeopteryx

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for archaeopteryx

New Latin, from archae- + Greek pteryx wing; akin to Greek pteron wing — more at feather

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The first known use of archaeopteryx was in 1859

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