Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids – 5 Adorable Facts about Archaeopteryx

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Have you ever thought that one day you could look up at the sky to see a dinosaur is flying? Come and check our five adorable Archaeopteryx facts for kids.

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids Fact number 1: Archaeopteryx Could Fly

The Archaeopteryx’s feathers were built for flight. These wings were similar to those of modern birds. Scientists predict that the Archaeopteryx glided more than flew. It is thought that the dinosaur would climb trees and glide from branch to branch.

The Archaeopteryx also had a wishbone, a type of bone that provides strength to the chest while flying. Archaeopteryx proved that modern birds are the living descendants of dinosaurs. Some of the Archaeopteryx’s feathers were black.

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids
Archaeopteryx dinosaurs

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids Fact number 2: Archaeopteryx Got Its Name from a Greek Word

The first Archaeopteryx fossil was named after the fossilised feather that was found. Archaeopteryx is translated from the Greek words meaning “ancient” and “wing.” 

The first Archaeopteryx fossil was discovered in 1861 by German palaeontologist Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer. Archaeopteryx fossils were found very much intact, allowing scientists to see a full view of the dino.

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids Fact number 3: Archaeopteryx’s First Toes were reversed

 This feature can also be seen on modern birds today and it is thought that it allowed Archaeopteryx to grab onto and perch on branches.

The second claw on each of Archaeopteryx’s feet was hyperextensible, this means it was capable of extra movement. This call has been nicknamed the ‘killing claw’. 

Although the Archaeopteryx had many of the same features of modern birds it was still considered a dinosaur. Instead of stump with tail feathers like other birds, the Archaeopteryx had an actual tail which was long and bony.

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids LearningMole
Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids: A dinosaur Archaeopteryx on white background

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids Fact number 4: The Archaeopteryx lived in Germany

Archaeopteryx lived in what is now known as Germany. During the late Jurassic period, roughly 150 million years ago, Germany would have had quite a warm climate compared to today. This is because Europe at that time was a lot closer to the equator and had a tropical climate.

Most dinosaurs are discovered in many different areas, however, all Archaeopteryx fossils have been found in one area, Bavaria’s Solnhofen Limestone Formations, in Germany.

In total 12 Archaeopteryx specimens have been found. These are all largely complete body fossils, and feathers can clearly be seen on most of them.

Facts about dinosaurs for Kids

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids Fact number 5: Archaeopteryx were carnivores

Archaeopteryx preyed on small animals such as insects, worms, frogs and lizards. It is also thought that they may even have been able to catch smaller creatures and mammals in its wings. The Archaeopteryx had teeth to allow it to chew its food.

It is thought that the Archaeopteryx tracked small prey along the banks of lakes and rivers. Although small in size, the Archaeopteryx remained one of the major groups of dinosaurs until the end of the Cretaceous era.

Archaeopteryx Facts for Kids LearningMole
Archaeopteryx dinosaur on white background

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about Archaeopteryx as much as we loved teaching you about them. Now that you know how majestic this dinosaur is, you can move on to learn about other dinosaurs, animals and birds like: Albertosaurus, Herbivorous Dinosaurs, Swimming Dinosaurs, Carnivorous Dinosaurs, Flying Dinosaurs, Extinct Animal, Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, Dinosaurs Facts, Fossils, Mammoth, Octopuses, Seals, Weasels, Dolphins, Kangaroos, Reindeer, Leopards and Jaguars, Rabbits, Turtles, Nocturnal Animals and Flamingos

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