a reptilelike fossil bird of the genus Archaeopteryx, from the late Jurassic Period, having teeth and a long, feathered, vertebrate tail.
Compare protoavis.

1855–60; < Neo-Latin < Greek archaio- archaeo- + ptéryx wing Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
archaeopteryx (ˌɑːkɪˈɒptərɪks)
any of several extinct primitive birds constituting the genus Archaeopteryx, esp A. lithographica, which occurred in Jurassic times and had teeth, a long tail, well-developed wings, and a body covering of feathers
[C19: from archaeo- + Greek pterux winged creature]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

oldest known fossil bird, 1859, from Gk. arkhaio-, combining form of arkhaios "ancient, primitive," from arkhe "beginning" (see archon) + pteryx "wing" (see petition).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
archaeopteryx   (är'kē-ŏp'tər-ĭks)  Pronunciation Key 
An extinct primitive bird of the genus Archaeopteryx of the Jurassic Period, having characteristics of both birds and dinosaurs. Like dinosaurs, it had a long, bony tail, claws at the end of its fingers, and teeth. Like birds it had wings and feathers. Many scientists regard it as evidence that birds evolved from small carnivorous dinosaurs. See Note at bird.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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