Where is the Archeopteryx fossil kept

Archeopteryx named Fossil of the Year

The primeval bird Archeopteryx is one of the most famous fossils in the world. The Paleontological Society has now named it “Fossil of the Year” 2020. The award, which was launched in 2008, aims to increase public awareness of paleontology and illustrate the central role fossils play in the study of life on earth.

The primeval bird shows characteristics of reptiles (e.g. the bone tail, teeth and front claws) and birds (flight feathers and forkbones). That is why Archeopteryx as an important proof of the principles of evolution: Charles Darwin assumed in the evolution theory he developed in 1859 that in the development of new species, transition forms occur which must still have characteristics of the old and the new species.

The Berlin copy of Archeopteryx is characterized by its almost complete preservation and special aesthetics of the fossil on its limestone plate, it is still considered the most beautiful and most completely preserved specimen of Archeopteryx. In addition to the bone, there are also feather prints on the main plate, and there is also a counterplate on which a large proportion of the outstandingly preserved feather prints of wings and tail are visible. A subsequent preparation on the back of the main plate also allows a view of the shoulder girdle. The Berlin specimen was the 2nd body fossil from Archeopteryx and the first Archeopteryxwhich was acquired by a public museum in Germany in 1881 (the first copy of Archeopteryx was sold to London and is kept there in the Natural History Museum). Therefore, the Berlin specimen was available for the longest time for scientific research purposes than all other fossils from Archeopteryx were only discovered or brought to the public since 1950. Its particularly complete preservation has enabled a large number of interpretations and various investigation methods over the years, ranging from the classic descriptive anatomy and systematics of bones and feathers to various interpretations of the flight ability of this fossil to detailed investigations with long-wave UV light.