Jurassic Archaeopteryx Paleontology Photos 

Jurassic Celebrity: Early Bird Gets the Spotlight

By Steven Spence A Lasting Impression For its sheer beauty, the Berlin specimen of Archaeopteryx has been described as a “paleontological Mona Lisa” by Dr. Luis M. Chiappe of the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. Without a doubt it is one of the most attractive fossils that I have ever seen. It is striking because it clearly has avian features, yet it is so different from modern birds. Clawed Wings and Teeth A previous article on the reference specimen of Archaeopteryx (London Natural History Museum) mentioned both the claws and…

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Raptor Dinosaurs: Artist’s Digital and graphite restoration drawing of Velociraptor mongoliensis (By Matt Martyniuk GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons) Animals Paleontology 

Friendly Neighborhood Raptor Dinosaurs

By Steven Spence Raptor Dinosaurs Raptor dinosaurs, formally known as dromaeosaurids, had very large curved talons on the  second toes of their feet. A similar feature is seen on some modern raptors (eagles and hawks), and some scientists believe this is an example of a similar functional evolution. Instead of using the “killing claw” as a slashing weapon, as suggested in movies, scientists propose that it was used in “Raptor Prey Restraint” (RPR) mode. The mode is utilized for large prey similar in size to the predator. Smaller prey are…

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