Why Did the Archaeopteryx Become Extinct?


A lot of facts about archaeopteryx have been established through the years. This was made possible with the discovery of numerous near complete fossils of the creature. This enables scientists to determine its basic traits and behavior.

Physical Appearance

The creature was about a foot long from the beak all the way to the tail. It only weighed around 400 grams and had a wing span of 1.5 feet. Scientific facts have shown that it is the direct descendant of modern birds. There are differences however. For one thing this creature had teeth. The chest area was rather flat and each wing possessed three claws. Its fingers however, were small in relation to its body. Its tail was long and thin.

Similarity with Birds and Dinosaurs

The facts about archaeopteryx show it had feathers. In terms of size it was almost the same as a crow. However there is still some dispute as to whether it could fly. Even those that believe that it could admit it could only do so for a little while. Its relationship with birds is clear, but it has similarities with dinosaurs too. These include its teeth and some bone makeup.

There is still some debate as to its position in the evolutionary chain. The connection between birds and dinosaurs has been accepted as fact. However there are still questions as to whether this creature was a link between reptiles and birds.


Other facts about archaeopteryx state that it lived during the Jurassic Period. This was approximately 150 million years ago. It was a carnivore that feasted on smaller animals. There were other flying dinosaurs during that period (the pterosaurs) but this creature may have lived in its own territory.

The feet structure (1 toe on the rear, 3 on the front) and the claws suggest that it stayed near trees or perched there. Some have thus ventured that it preyed on animals from this position. Others contend that it would run after its prey. The basis for this supposition is the leg bone makeup; they were very long and strong.

Another theory is that the bird preyed on reptiles. Based on the facts about archaeopteryx, the bird would climb on trees and glide / swoop down on reptiles.


Since the 1860s numerous fossils have been found of this creature. Most of them are very detailed. Seven detailed remains have been unearthed, but the fragments make up much more. Some of the fossils even have the feathers intact.

Its lifespan remains unclear. While it lived during the Jurassic Era, what caused its extinction is still unknown. There’s no question that it was easy prey for the larger pterosaurs in the area. But what ultimately led to its demise is unknown. In fact the same thing can be said for all the dinosaurs. Only future discoveries may shed light on the subject.

There are several facts about archaeopteryx that have been pointed out. As research continues, more fossils may be uncovered. This could lead to even more information about this creature being learned.

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