points evolutionary biologists rely on when claiming Archaeopteryx
was a transitional form, are the claws on its wings and its
It is true that Archaeopteryx had claws on its
wings and teeth in its mouth, but these traits do not imply
that the creature bore any kind of relationship to reptiles.
Besides, two bird species living today, the touraco and the
hoatzin, have claws which allow them to hold onto branches.
These creatures are fully birds, with no reptilian characteristics.
That is why it is completely groundless to assert that Archaeopteryx
is a transitional form just because of the claws on its wings.
Just like Archaeopteryx, there
are claw-like nails on the wings of the bird Opisthocomus
hoazin, which lives in our own time.
Neither do the teeth in Archaeopteryx's
beak imply that it is a transitional form. Evolutionists are
wrong to say that these teeth are reptilian characteristics,
since teeth are not a typical feature of reptiles. Today,
some reptiles have teeth while others do not. Moreover, Archaeopteryx
is not the only bird species to possess teeth. It is true
that there are no toothed birds in existence today, but when
we look at the fossil record, we see that both during the
time of Archaeopteryx and afterwards, and even until fairly
recently, a distinct group of birds existed that could be
categorised as "birds with teeth."
important point is that the tooth structure of Archaeopteryx
and other birds with teeth is totally different from
that of their alleged ancestors, the dinosaurs. The well-known
ornithologists L. D. Martin, J. D. Stewart, and K. N. Whetstone
observed that Archaeopteryx and other similar birds
have unserrated teeth with constricted bases and expanded
roots. Yet the teeth of theropod dinosaurs, the alleged ancestors
of these birds, had serrated teeth with straight roots.127
These researchers also compared the ankle bones of Archaeopteryx
with those of their alleged ancestors, the dinosaurs, and
observed no similarity between them.128
by anatomists such as S. Tarsitano, M.K. Hecht, and A.D. Walker
have revealed that some of the similarities that John Ostrom
and others have seen between the limbs of Archaeopteryx
and dinosaurs were in reality misinterpretations.129
For example, A.D. Walker has analyzed the ear region of Archaeopteryx
and found that it is very similar to that of modern birds.130
Furthermore, J. Richard Hinchliffe,
from the Institute of Biological Sciences of the University
of Wales, studied the anatomies of birds and their alleged
reptilian ancestors by using modern isotopic techniques and
discovered that the three forelimb digits in dinosaurs are
I-II-III, whereas bird wing digits are II-III-IV. This poses
a big problem for the supporters of the Archaeopteryx-dinosaur
link.131 Hinchliffe published his studies
and observations in Science in 1997, where he wrote:
Doubts about homology between theropods
and bird digits remind us of some of the other problems
in the "dinosaur-origin" hypothesis. These include the following:
(i) The much smaller theropod forelimb (relative to body
size) in comparison with the Archaeopteryx wing. Such small
limbs are not convincing as proto-wings for a ground-up
origin of flight in the relatively heavy dinosaurs. (ii)
The rarity in theropods of the semilunate wrist bone, known
in only four species (including Deinonychus). Most theropods
have relatively large numbers of wrist elements, difficult
to homologize with those of Archaeopteryx. (iii) The temporal
paradox that most theropod dinosaurs and in particular the
birdlike dromaeosaurs are all very much later in the fossil
record than Archaeopteryx.
As Hinchliffe notes, the "temporal
paradox" is one of the facts that deal the fatal blow to the
evolutionist allegations about Archaeopteryx. In
his book Icons of Evolution, American biologist Jonathan
Wells remarks that Archaeopteryx has been turned
into an "icon" of the theory of evolution, whereas evidence
clearly shows that this creature is not the primitive ancestor
of birds. According to Wells, one of the indications of this
is that theropod dinosaurs-the alleged ancestors of Archaeopteryx-are
actually younger than Archaeopteryx: "Two-legged
reptiles that ran along the ground, and had other features
one might expect in an ancestor of Archaeopteryx, appear later."132
All these findings indicate that Archaeopteryx
was not a transitional link but only a bird that fell into
a category that can be called "toothed birds." Linking this
creature to theropod dinosaurs is completely invalid. In an
article headed "The Demise of the 'Birds Are Dinosaurs' Theory,"
the American biologist Richard L. Deem writes the following
about Archaeopteryx and the bird-dinosaur evolution
The results of the recent
studies show that the hands of the theropod dinosaurs are
derived from digits I, II, and III, whereas the wings of
birds, although they look alike in terms of structure, are
derived from digits II, III, and IV... There are other problems
with the "birds are dinosaurs" theory. The theropod forelimb
is much smaller (relative to body size) than that of Archaeopteryx.
The small "proto-wing" of the theropod is not very convincing,
especially considering the rather hefty weight of these
dinosaurs. The vast majority of the theropod lack the semilunate
wrist bone, and have a large number of other wrist elements
which have no homology to the bones of Archaeopteryx. In
addition, in almost all theropods, nerve V1 exits the braincase
out the side, along with several other nerves, whereas in
birds, it exits out the front of the braincase, though its
own hole. There is also the minor problem that the vast
majority of the theropods appeared after the appearance
D. Martin, J. D. Stewart, K. N. Whetstone, The Auk,
vol. 97, 1980, p. 86.
128 L. D. Martin, J. D. Stewart, K. N. Whetstone,
The Auk, vol. 97, 1980, p. 86; L. D. Martin, "Origins
of the Higher Groups of Tetrapods", Ithaca, Comstock
Publishing Association, New York, 1991, pp. 485-540.
129 S. Tarsitano, M. K. Hecht, Zoological
Journal of the Linnaean Society, vol. 69, 1980, p. 149; A.
D. Walker, Geological Magazine, vol. 117, 1980, p.
130 A.D. Walker, as described in Peter Dodson,
"International Archaeopteryx Conference," Journal of Vertebrate
Paleontology 5(2):177, June 1985.
131 Richard Hinchliffe, "The Forward March
of the Bird-Dinosaurs Halted?," Science, vol. 278,
no. 5338, 24 October 1997, pp. 596-597.
132 Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution,
Regnery Publishing, 2000, p. 117
133 Richard L. Deem, "Demise of the 'Birds
are Dinosaurs' Theory";,"http://www.yfiles.com/dinobird2.html.