The Origin of Flight According to Evolutionists Birds and Dinosaur The Unique Structure of Avian Lungs Bird Feathers and Reptile Scales The Design of Feathers
The Archaeopteryx Misconception The Teeth and Claws of Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx and Other Ancient Bird Fossils Archaeoraptor: The Dino-Bird Hoax
The Origin of Insects The Origin of Mammals The Myth of Horse Evolution












 The Archaeopteryx Misconception

In response to the question whether there is any fossil evidence for "reptile-bird evolution," evolutionists pronounce the name of one single creature. This is the fossil of a bird called Archaeopteryx, one of the most widely known so-called transitional forms among the very few that evolutionists still defend.

Archaeopteryx, the so-called ancestor of modern birds according to evolutionists, lived approximately 150 million years ago. The theory holds that some small dinosaurs, such as Velociraptors or Dromaeosaurs, evolved by acquiring wings and then starting to fly. Thus, Archaeopteryx is assumed to be a transitional form that branched off from its dinosaur ancestors and started to fly for the first time.

However, the latest studies of Archaeopteryx fossils indicate that this explanation lacks any scientific foundation. This is absolutely not a transitional form, but an extinct species of bird, having some insignificant differences from modern birds.

One of the important pieces of evidence that Archaeopteryx was a flying bird is its asymmetric feather structure. Above, one of the creature's fossil feathers.

The thesis that Archaeopteryx was a "half-bird" that could not fly perfectly was popular among evolutionist circles until not long ago. The absence of a sternum (breastbone) in this creature was held up as the most important evidence that this bird could not fly properly. (The sternum is a bone found under the thorax to which the muscles required for flight are attached. In our day, this breastbone is observed in all flying and non-flying birds, and even in bats, a flying mammal which belongs to a very different family.) However, the seventh Archaeopteryx fossil, which was found in 1992, disproved this argument. The reason was that in this recently discovered fossil, the breastbone that was long assumed by evolutionists to be missing was discovered to have existed after all. This fossil was described in the journal Nature as follows:

The recently discovered seventh specimen of the Archaeopteryx preserves a partial, rectangular sternum, long suspected but never previously documented. This attests to its strong flight muscles, but its capacity for long flights is questionable.124

This discovery invalidated the mainstay of the claims that Archaeopteryx was a half-bird that could not fly properly.

Morevoer, the structure of the bird's feathers became one of the most important pieces of evidence confirming that Archaeopteryx was a flying bird in the true sense. The asymmetric feather structure of Archaeopteryx is indistinguishable from that of modern birds, and indicates that it could fly perfectly well. As the eminent paleontologist Carl O. Dunbar states, "Because of its feathers, [Archaeopteryx is] distinctly to be classed as a bird."125 Paleontologist Robert Carroll further explains the subject:

The geometry of the flight feathers of Archaeopteryx is identical with that of modern flying birds, whereas nonflying birds have symmetrical feathers. The way in which the feathers are arranged on the wing also falls within the range of modern birds… According to Van Tyne and Berger, the relative size and shape of the wing of Archaeopteryx are similar to that of birds that move through restricted openings in vegetation, such as gallinaceous birds, doves, woodcocks, woodpeckers, and most passerine birds… The flight feathers have been in stasis for at least 150 million years…126

Another fact that was revealed by the structure of Archaeopteryx's feathers was its warm-blooded metabolism. As was discussed above, reptiles and dinosaurs are cold-blooded animals whose body heat fluctuates with the temperature of their environment, rather than being homeostatically regulated. A very important function of the feathers on birds is the maintenance of a constant body temperature. The fact that Archaeopteryx had feathers shows that it was a real, warm-blooded bird that needed to retain its body heat, in contrast to dinosaurs.

125 Carl O. Dunbar, Historical Geology, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1961, p. 310.
126 Robert L. Carroll, Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 280-81.