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The Rediscovery of Archaeopteryx (Vol. II): Archaeopteryx's hatchlings

ISBN: 978-989-20-8579-1

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In this volume of The Rediscovery of Archaeopteryx, the still-lives of the most famous fossil in the world and another historic fossil are brought forward, exposing fossilized young animals from the Jurassic period hatching from their eggs and hatchlings clinging in their nests. Nothing should be the same in paleontology after this book.

After going unnoticed for over 140 years, a total of eight 2 cm long hatchlings were found in the Berlin and Teylers specimens of Archaeopteryx.

The upper body of a winged and beaked animal with fossilized bones extends from the ventral side of the Berlin specimen’s thorax.

Among its very small bones are elongated scapulae and hatchet-like coracoids, as seen in Archaeopteryx.

Three other beaked animals in its vicinity show surface morphology preservation, one of which is visible from head to tail, all fossilized in a clinging pose, demonstrating that Archaeopteryx hatchlings displayed clinging behavior.

Two similar animals were identified next to each other in the Teylers specimen. One of these fossilized after dying while it was hatching from its egg. Its third wing finger crosses underneath the second as in Archaeopteryx. The other shows surface morphology preservation of the torso, head and part of one forelimb (including a finger claw), trachea, tail feathers, and structures that almost certainly correspond to both erupted and non-erupted teeth.

A disarticulated wing that is similar to that observed in one of the Teylers hatchlings was discovered in the fossil of the isolated Archaeopteryx feather, representing the first association between this isolated feather and Archaeopteryx animals.

Together with the descriptions of non-rigid eggs in Volume I and egg littering in Volume III, the still-lives of the Berlin and Teylers ground nests brought forward here enrich Archaeopteryx’s rediscovery as a nesting animal and help propel a new era of more detailed fossil analysis that may bring great contributions to evolutionary biology.


The Rediscovery of Archaeopteryx (Vol. II): Archaeopteryx's hatchlings

ISBN: 978-989-20-8579-1
Language: English
Dimensions: 27 x 21,5 x 2,5 cm
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 284


The author was the recipient of the Bial Grand Prize in Medicine for developing a new molecular approach to the study of the development of blood cell formation in early embryonic life and having cloned novel genes associated with this process.

He also received the Medal of Honor from the Portuguese Business Association for his role as inventor of the ALERT® Electronic Medical Record and founder of ALERT Life Sciences Computing.

Jorge Guimarães graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of Porto, where he was an instructor of Physiology; he was also a visiting scientist at the DNAX Research Institute, in Palo Alto, California, where he developed his award-winning work on cloning of differentially expressed genes in embryoid bodies, embryos and cell lines, and a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University where he worked on gene therapy.

His life is now dedicated to investigating the relationship between evolution, reproduction, development and cancer.