What happens when you go to the National History Museum as a Creative Writing student? You take the surrounding fossils and make them come alive on the page. Sometimes through poetry, sometimes through journalistic prose. This is a short piece by a talented Oxford Scholastica Academy alumnus, on one of the most fascinating species of dinosaurs ever uncovered.

A archaeopteryx fossil in stone

The Jurassic Period: A Time of Evolutionary Marvels

The Jurassic Period was a very significant geological period in Earth’s history. It was the bridge between the start and the demise of the dinosaurs and it was the period which saw the dinosaurs take many different forms from the gargantuan Sauropods to dinosaurs the size of chickens.

The Archaeopteryx: A Unique Evolutionary Link

In this vast sea of dinosaurs, one creature stood out as an evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds, and it was a dinosaur unlike any ever discovered before.

What is an Archaeopteryx?

The Archaeopteryx, an ancient creature that lived during the late Jurassic period around 150 million years ago, is considered to be a transitional fossil linking dinosaurs and birds.

Unearthed in some areas in Germany and Wyoming, the fossil of Archaeopteryx is possibly one of the most startling discoveries ever made.

The fossil of Archaeopteryx is so well preserved that we are able to make out every single detail about what the animal may have looked like.

An Insight into the Archaeopteryx’s Anatomy

The long limbs of the Archaeopteryx were used to maneuver up the trees with long claws which would dig into the bark, which would help it to balance on the tree.

The Archaeopteryx had only one set of wings. The wings that were used for flight were actually very similar to today’s pheasants and magpies; the Archaeopteryx would use the wind and glide, following the direction of the wind.

What Did the Archaeopteryx Eat?

Normally, Archaeopteryx ate small insects and vertebrates. The Archaeopteryx had long claws which would help dig out the maggots with real ease.

Latest Research and Discoveries about the Archaeopteryx

New research on fossils show that the plumage of the Archaeopteryx was black.

The Significance of the Archaeopteryx in Paleontology

I think the Archaeopteryx is a really significant and important fossil as it helped paleontology bloom by completing the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds.

Transform Prehistoric Tales into Compelling Narratives at our Summer School

Curious to breathe life into historical epochs and intriguing creatures like the Archaeopteryx with your words? Unleash your creativity at Oxford Scholastica Academy’s Oxford Creative Writing Summer School. Expand your writing skills, learn creative writing tips, create compelling narratives, and make the past come alive on the page.

Anunay Kedia

Anunay Kedia

Discover Writing Academy Alumnus

Anunay is an Oxford Scholastica Academy alumnus who graduated in 2018 from the Discover Writing Academy. This piece was written in the National History Museum as part of the Hero Session of the course.