Reproduced from Creation Magazine, publication of Creation Science, with permission.

The famous fossil of archaeopteryx, found in Berlin in 1877, has often been hailed as the desperately needed missing link that evolutionists have long hoped for. Many have said this fossil bird clearly shows reptilian features such as teeth, claws on the wing, and a skeleton that looks similar to a Coelurosaurian dinosaur, Compsognathus. However, looking closely at archaeopteryx has shattered the hopes of the kinship between this bird and the dinosaur. Some differences worth noting include the upper jaw and the brain. In vertebrates, including reptiles, only the lower jaw or mandible moves. In birds, the upper jaw, or maxilla, moves as well, as was the case in archaeopteryx. Archaeopteryx had a brain like that of flying birds with a visual cortex and a large cerebellum. The wishbone (furcula) was robust which is a design of a flying bird.

Archaeopteryx had teeth but so did other birds in the fossil record. There is a species of hummingbird today in South America that has teeth. The three claws on the wings of archaeopteryx have also been used to justify the dinosaur-to-bird link but to no avail. There are birds alive today that have claws on their wings. The young hoatzin and the ostrich have claws on their wings.

The similarities found in the skeletons of most vertebrates do not show proof of evolution. God in His wisdom used a basic plan that works. No one would believe that a John Deere tractor evolved into a Mercedes. Yet they both have many of the same features.

The hind toe (hallux) of archaeopteryx is that of a perching bird and not like the dewclaw (1st digit) of a dinosaur.

Archaeopteryx has 100% feathers and no in-between scale-to-feather features. There has never been a scale-to-feather intermediary organ ever found in the fossil record. Most ornithologists at the International Archaeopteryx Conference in Eichstatt, Germany in 1984 accepted and believed archaeopteryx was a fully formed bird.

The long tail of archaeopteryx had 20 vertebrates and each shows trace fossils of feather imprints. The feathers on the tail show no sign of being broken or having frayed tips, which would be suspected on a ground dweller, which helps verify that archaeopteryx was a tree dweller.

"In spite of some palaeontologists’ desperate pleas for us to accept through faith the dinosaurian origin of birds, and therefore the ground-up origin of avian flight, the details of the origin of birds remain elusive after more than a hundred and fifty years". (Alan Feduccia, The Origin and Evolution of Birds, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 1999).

This article was published in The Christian Bird Observer’s Magazine, October 2001