Image: Archaeopteryx, fossil cast
Archaeopteryx lithographica fossil cast.
- Fran Dorey
- © Australian Museum
Discovered in the 1860s, Archaeopteryx was the first fossil evidence linking birds to dinosaurs. It had feathers like modern birds and a skeleton with features like a small non-avian dinosaur. Although it is the earliest and most primitive bird known to date, it is not considered the common ancestor of all birds.