Archaeopteryx, Haarlem Specimen

This specimen consists of both A & B sides.

The Haarlem Specimen (TM 6428/29, also known as the Teyler Specimen) was discovered in 1855 near Riedenburg, Germany and described as Pterodactylus crassipes in 1857 by von Meyer. It was reclassified in 1970 by John Ostrom and is currently located at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands. It was the very first specimen, despite the classification error. It is also one of the least complete specimens, consisting mostly of limb bones and isolated cervical vertebrae and ribs.

Both slabs of the specimen display bone material and faint feather impressions, and together preserve the parts of the dorsal vertebrae and gastralia, a number of bones of the arms and especially the hand with all three fingers well-preserved, a small piece of the pelvic girdle, and substantial parts of both legs, most notably the feet which are also reasonably well-preserved, particularly the phalanges and metatarsus of the left foot.

While not one of the best-preserved Archaeopteryx fossils, a few of its skeletal elements are noteworthy. Its gastralia are exceptionally-well preserved, and the counter slab shows at least 14 of the slender, rib-shaped bones. Faint imprints of several dorsal vertebrae are also observed, and four actual rib fragments in articulation with the vertebrae. A single pelvic bone is preserved, the pubis, and displays the boot-shaped pubic symphysis.

The main slab preserves a significant portion of the left leg. Pieces of both femora remain, and a large part of the left femur is preserved in natural articulation at the knee with the lower leg, which preserves only the left tibia in proximal. The left fibula is preserved on the main slab, but the distal elements of the lower leg are broken off at the slab edge. The left metartarsus and foot are preserved only as faint impressions, but these are distinct enough to derive the pedal phalange formula 2-3-4-5-0 that is typical for the genus (Ostrom 1972b) The claw impressions are also relatively distinct and allow for comparison with the forelimb claws.

The forelimb preserves parts of the wing skeleton on the main slab, which displays the distal left humerus and both forearm bones. A bone that has been interpreted as a semilunate carpal may lie between the forearm and second metacarpal, but this remains inconclusive. The hand is fairly well-preserved and the first finger especially preserves the claw at its tip most exceptionally. This claw has a strong curvature, sharply pointed, has deep lateral furrows, and a stout tubercle at the base. The imprint of the horn sheath also remains, which shows a rounded thickening of the claw that tapers to a very sharp point. While otherwise not an exceptional specimen in many respects, the details of the hand provided previously-unknown details of the animal's claw morphology.

Although the specimen preserves faint plumage impressions, it is understandable why they escaped v. Meyer's notice in 1857—such structures as feathers were unknown from the Late Jurassic before 1860–61. Only in oblique light do the Haarlem specimen's feather imprints show up at all, and these originate from the left forearm, and therefore likely the imprints of the animal's secondary remiges. Some researchers have speculated at some obscure impressions on the specimen belonging to the primary feathers, but this has not been determined with certainty.

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Archaeopteryx, Haarlem Specimen 

6.5 x 4 Inches each
Item 3601 

Category: Replicas
Type: Skeletons
Phylum: Vertebrates
Class: Birds


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Archaeopteryx, Haarlem Specimen

Archaeopteryx, Haarlem Specimen

Archaeopteryx, Haarlem Specimen

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