protoavis

protoavis

[proh-toh-ey-vis]
noun
a fossil bird of the genus Protoavis, from the Triassic Period, having a birdlike, partly toothless jaw structure, a tail and hind legs resembling those of the dinosaur, and the hollow bones and keellike breast that are characteristic of modern birds: the oldest known avian type, preceding the archaeopteryx by an estimated 75 million years.

Origin:
< Neo-Latin (1986), equivalent to Greek proto- proto- + Latin avis bird

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WordNet
protoavis

noun
most primitive avian type known; extinct bird of the Triassic having bird-like jaw and hollow limbs and breastbone with dinosaur-like tail and hind limbs 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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