Fossil Wiki


6,836pages on
this wiki
Official policies
Helping out

"Archaeoraptor" is the generic name informally assigned in 1999 to a fossil from China in an article published in National Geographic magazine. The magazine claimed that the fossil was a "missing link" between birds and terrestrial theropod dinosaurs. Even prior to this publication there had been severe doubts about the fossil's authenticity. It led to a scandal when it was definitely proven to be a forgery through further scientific study. The forgery was constructed from rearranged pieces of real fossils from different species. Zhou et al. found that the head and upper body actually belong to a specimen of the primitive fossil bird Yanornis. A 2002 study found that the tail belongs to a small winged dromaeosaur, Microraptor, named in 2000. The legs and feet belong to an as yet unknown animal. The "Archaeoraptor" scandal has ongoing ramifications. The scandal brought attention to illegal fossil deals conducted in China. It also highlighted the need for close scientific scrutiny of purported "missing links" published in journals which are not peer-reviewed. The fossil scandal has been used by creationists to cast doubt on evolutionary theory. Although "Archaeoraptor" was a forgery, many true examples of feathered dinosaurs have been found and demonstrate the evolutionary connection between birds and other theropods. (Read more...)

Recently promoted: Protoavis  • Cloudinidae  • Small shelly fauna

Did you know Did you know...                                                      Suggest an article

From The Fossil Wiki's newest articles:

Acrocanthosaurus head BW

Geological hammer Paleontologist of the Month

Paul Sereno2

Paul Sereno is an American paleontologist who is the discoverer of several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. He is a professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence." Sereno's most widely publicized discovery is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator (popularly known as SuperCroc) at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger. Other major discoveries include Eoraptor - the oldest known dinosaur fossil, Jobaria, the first good skull of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, Afrovenator, Suchomimus and the African pterosaur. (Read more...)

In the news2009 In the News                                Suggest a news item

Tianyuraptor NT

Random Featured Quote (Refresh)

"The science of fossil shells is the first step towards the study of the earth."
—Giovanni Battista Brocchi Conchiologia Fossile Subappennina (1814), Vol. I, trans. Ezio Vaccari, 13.

Community                                           AboutFAQThe Field Site

==Explore the prehistoric world==
4567.17 Ma - Precambrian era - 542 Ma
3800 Ma - Archean eon - 2500 Ma 2500 Ma - Proterozoic eon - 542 Ma
3800 Ma - Archean eon - 2500 Ma 2600 Ma - Paleoproterozoic era - 1600 Ma 1600 Ma - Mesoproterozoic era - 1000 Ma 1000 Ma - Neoproterozoic era - 542 Ma
Eoarchean Paleoarchean Mesoarchean Neoarchean Siderian Rhyacian Orosirian Statherian Calymmian Ectasian Stenian Tonian Cryogenian Ediacaran

542 Ma - Phanerozoic eon - Present
542 Ma - Paleozoic era - 251 Ma 251 Ma - Mesozoic era - 65 Ma 65 Ma - Cenozoic era - Present
Cambrian Ordovician Silurian Devonian Carboniferous Permian
Paleogene Neogene Quaternary

Featured pictures Random Featured Image (Refresh)

Pancrocodylia diversity

The Crurotarsi ("cross-ankles") are a group of archosaurs, whose name was erected as a node-based clade by Paul Sereno in 1991 to supplant the old term, Pseudosuchia. Crurotarsi are by definition the sister group of the Avemetatarsalia (all forms closer to birds than crocodiles). Crurotarsi is one of the two primary daughter clades of the Archosauria. The skull is often massively built, especially in contrast to ornithodires; the snout narrow and sometimes tending to be elongate, the neck is short and strong, and the limb posture ranging from typically reptilian sprawling to dinosaur or mammal-like erect (although this is achieved in a different way to dinosaurs and mammals). The body is often protected by two or more rows of armored plates. Many crurotarsans reached large size: approximately around three meters or more in length.

Clockwise from top-left: Longosuchus meani (an aetosaur), Angistorhinus grandis, (a phytosaur), Saurosuchus galilei (a rauisuchian), Pedeticosaurus leviseuri (a sphenosuchian), Chenanisuchus lateroculi (a eusuchian), and Dakosaurus maximus (a thalattosuchian).

Earth-ScanPaleontology links

Join us in exploring the prehistoric world

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki