Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

A new genus and species for the largest specimen of Archaeopteryx

Andrzej Elżanowski

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 46 (4), 2001: 519-532

The Solnhofen (Sixth) specimen of Archaeopteryx is assigned to Wellnhoferia grandis gen. et sp. n. on the basis of qualitative, size-independent autapomorphies. Wellnhoferia differs from Archaeopteryx in a short tail with the estimated number of 16-17 caudals; a nearly symmetric pattern of pedal rays II-IV with metatarsals II and IV of equal length and digit IV substantially shorter than in Archaeopteryx; and the number of four (instead of five) phalanges of pedal digit IV, which most probably results from a phylogenetic reduction rather than individual variation. A combination of large size and details of the pelvic limb suggests a locomotor specialization different from that of Archaeopteryx.

Key words: Archaeopteryx, Wellnhoferia, birds, Aves, Jurassic, Solnhofen.

Andrzej Elżanowski [], Institute of Zoology, University of Wrocław, ul. Sienkiewicza 21, PL-50-335 Wrocław, Poland.

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