The Puzzle of the Dinosaur-Bird; The Story of Archaeopteryx

The Puzzle of the Dinosaur-Bird; The Story of Archaeopteryx

by Miriam Schlein, Mark Hallett
     
 
One of the most important fossils ever found, Archaeopteryx has puzzled scientists ever since its discovery in 1861. With its long tail, claws, and teeth, this little skeleton looked like a dinosaur--but it had feathers! Was it a bird, a dinosaur, or something in between?

Overview

One of the most important fossils ever found, Archaeopteryx has puzzled scientists ever since its discovery in 1861. With its long tail, claws, and teeth, this little skeleton looked like a dinosaur--but it had feathers! Was it a bird, a dinosaur, or something in between?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
When the fossil of the Archaeopteryx was found, it caused a bit of consternation among scientist. Was it a bird, a dinosaur, or something else? Opinions have varied over the years as scientists have argued for changes to the classification of dinosaurs (birds versus reptiles). As more fossils were found, the answers still have not become clear, but the theories as presented by Schlein are fascinating and the pictures by Hallett of these prehistoric creatures and their environment are equally intriguing. At the end, Schlein asks readers to be the scientist and to determine for themselves if the Archaeopteryx is bird or beast.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6Scientists have argued over Archaeopteryx fossils since they were first discovered in 1861, and they are still a topic of serious discussion in the halls of scientific classification. Was the fossilized skeleton found in a limestone quarry that of a dinosaur with clawed "wings" and feathers? Or was it a bird with teeth and a long tailbone? In a clearly written, readable text, Schlein presents the history of Archaeopteryx discoveries, details the theories of several respected paleontologists, and invites readers to participate in the debate. She gives data on other "early birds," and provides a chronology of fossil finds and an extensive bibliography to reinforce her informative text. Through fine gouache paintings, Hallett has created a wonderful window to the Jurassic landscape and creatures that inhabited it. All in all, a very handsome, authoritative look at a most ancient conundrum.Patricia Manning, Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Schlein (More Than One, p. 1047, etc.), subtitling this "The Story of Archaeopteryx," tells how in 1861 the fossil remains of an unusual Jurassic-era creature were found in Germany. The skeleton resembled that of a very small dinosaur but the outline of feathers that covered its body remained in the stone, indicating that it was a bird. The classification of the creature—as a bird (that looked like a dinosaur), or a mammal (that looked like a bird)—has been hotly debated to this day. The book further discusses possible ancestors of archaeopteryx—pterosaurs, small dinosaurs, small reptiles, coelosaurs ("hollow-tailed reptiles"), or other primordial birds—that would aid in the classification process. Despite the lack of answers, readers will relish the mystery; Hallett's excellent drawings and diagrams clarify and add interest to an already informative and challenging book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803712836
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/01/1996
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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