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protoavis

[proh-toh-ey-vis] /ˌproʊ toʊˈeɪ vɪs/
noun
1.
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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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