Mayr G, Pohl B, Peters DS (2005) A Well-Preserved Archaeopteryx Specimen with Theropod Features. Science 310(5753):1483-1486 The December 2 issue of the journal Science has a description of a previously undescribed specimen of Archaeopteryx, one that could possibly be the best preserved of them all. This new find cements the theory of a dinosaurian origin for aves. One of the most remarkable features of this new find is that the feet and ankles are well preserved, better than in any of the other examples. This has led directly to a new discovery. Previously, it was thought by most, though some disagreed, that the first toe on an Archaeopteryx foot was reversed like in birds. This is useful for grasping on to limbs. or perching. But the new specimen settles the dispute by showing that the first toe was not reversed. So instead of having the foot of a bird, it had the foot of a deinonychosaur. [I guess this is also the final nail in the cofin for the old out of context feduccia quote about it being nothing more than a perching bird.] But there are even more details in the foot. I assume everyone has seen Jurassic Park? Remember how the Velociraptors had this large sickle-like claw on their second toe that they used for all sorts of meyhem? Well, that is a characteristic of deinonychosaurs feet. And, as it turns out, Archaeopteryx also had the same hyperextendible second toe. I'll mention one other detail of the new find here and leave the discovery of the rest as an exercise for the interested reader. In the snout of birds and dinosaurs, there is a one called the palatine. It has one particular shape in birds and another in their dinosaur relatives. The palatine of Archaeopteryx was shaped just like that of deinonychosaurs. Some images. http://pharyngula.org/images/archaeop_1_lg.jpg http://pharyngula.org/images/archaeop_2_lg.jpg http://pharyngula.org/images/archaeop_3_lg.jpg Some writeup. As it turns out, a museum in tiny Thermopolis, Wyoming has bought the fossil. Here are a couple of writeups related to that. http://skeletaldrawing.com/Archaeopteryx/archaeo_general.htm http://skeletaldrawing.com/Archaeopteryx/archaeo.htm And others... http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/12/1201_051201_archaeopteryx.html http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/new_archaeopteryx_specimen/ So much for claims that Archaeopteryx is not a transitional.