Found in 1861, near Langenaltheim. Probably the best known (together with the Berlin specimen). Its discovery was announced by H. v Meyer in 1861 and the specimen was subsequently bought by the British Museum of Natural History in London (under the instruction of Richard Owen). It cost 700 UK Pounds - a small fortune in those times, but for that price Owen also received just over a thousand other fossils from Solnhofen. The specimen was sold by amateur collector and local doctor Carl Haberlein, who had received it in lieu of payment for medical treatment. Owen described the specimen in 1863. He saw at once that it was an important find and recognised that it represented a transitional form - but not in the "Darwin" sense. Owen was a staunch
"evolutionist", however he did not believe in Darwin's model of evolution. Interestingly Huxley, who was a staunch "Darwinist" failed to recognise the true import of the fossil and merely remarked on it as a "reptile-like bird". It wasn't until close comparisons were made with the dinosaur
Compsognathus that Archae's true worth was realised.
17 x 22 inches
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