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Archaeopteryx

Illustration by ArtisticRaptor of JPLegacy

Isla Sorna

Physical CharacteristicsEdit

Length: 1.6 feet
Height: 1 foot
Weight: 18 ounces
Wingspan: 1.6 feet

Coloration:

Male: Snout, the extremities of the legs, and fingers covered in dark greenish-yellow scales. Head and neck rich blue ending above the shoulders. Body and main part of the wings bright green. Flight feathers of the wings (both on the arms and the smaller "hindwings") jet black, separated from green by a thin yet noticeable stripe of white. Tail blue with white stripe separating fringe of black feathers from blue.
Female and juvenile (both sexes): Same as male, except the blue and green are duller, and the black has a just barely-perceptible greenish tinge to it in bright sunlight.

Preferred HabitatEdit

Forested woodland and Jungle, where there is plenty of cover to hide and trees in which to nest.

DietEdit

Insects, spiders, grubs, small lizards.

Social StructureEdit

Generally social, enjoys company of others but can survive alone.

DescriptionEdit

Small, colorful bird; differing from modern birds with reptilian features such as clawed wings, small teeth, and a long, bony tail. Feet are raptor-like, with an enlarged second toe claw. The shape and arrangement of the wing feathers of Archaeopteryx show adaptations for flight similar to modern

Breeding SeasonEdit

Early dry season when there are still enough pools around for the young to fall into when they are threatened. By the time its main predator, - Staurikosaurus - have young of their own, most of the 'Archaeopteryx chicks would have already fledged and are able to fly from danger.

BehaviorsEdit

Archaeopteryx is a small, basal bird. Once believed to be a glider or a clumsy flyer, InGen soon discovered that Archaeopteryx does in fact have the capacity for powered, flapping flight; possessing the necessary sight, balance and coordination skills needed for accurate control in the air.

Archaeopteryx is rarely ever found on the ground where it is more vulnerable to predators such as Velociraptor and Compsognathus. It ascends the higher levels of the canopy by clambering up trees; and uses its ability to fly in order to travel from tree to tree in search of food and new nesting sites as well as to escape capture from its main predator, Staurikosaurus. Some individuals have taken to sitting on the backs of the armored dinosaur Ankylosaurus, where not only is the bird significantly safer from its predators, but it also benefits from the glut of insects disturbed by the movements of the heavily-built herbivore as it grazes.

Archaeopteryx lacks the fully-reversed hallux (first toe) of advanced birds, so instead of perching it clings onto branches and tree trunks with all four limbs, or maintains its balance on branches with the use of its long tail in a similar fashion to its ground-dwelling raptor relatives. Like the highly dangerous Velociraptors and Ornitholestes which prowl the forest floor, Archaeopteryx' possesses an enlarged claw on the second toe of each foot. Archaeopteryx uses these claws to anchor itself when climbing, as opposed to killing prey.

Breeding BehaviorsEdit

Archaeopteryx' nest in small to medium-sized colonies, with multiple flocks coming together to breed and lay eggs. The Archaeopteryx male builds a stick nest high in the trees - preferably above streams and pools. The male then decorates the nest with colorful objects such as fruits, flowers, dead lizards and insects, similar in fashion to the male bowerbird. Different males tend to have their own individual tastes and will decorate their nests with their favored color, while other males merely steal random bits of decoration from the nests of their rivals. Females seeking males may visit several nests to determine the best choice. Males display to females using vocalizations and wing-spreading, allowing the female to assess his vibrant colors and balancing skills. Archaeopteryx do not mate for life and take different partners each breeding season.

Immediately after hatching, the chicks are able to use their claws to scramble around the tree branches without falling. They spend much of their time in hiding, being fed regurgitated insects by their parents. If a nest is detected by a hunting Staurikosaurus, the adult Archaeopteryx will screech, and attempt to divert the predator's attention away from the young by luring the predator closer to them before leaping out of the tree at the last second, or performing airborne swoops and loops around the predator's head in an attempt to keep it distracted while the young make their escape. If unsuccessful however, the detected young will drop into the water below, swimming under the surface to escape and later using their clawed wings to climb back to the safety of the nest.

Even if not seen, Archaeopteryx's' presence can be noted by its signature vocalizations, which include whistles, chirps, and rapid chittering. Calls are used to maintain contact between individuals in flocks, warn off threats and intruders and by chicks begging for food.

ResourcesEdit

Page Illustration by ArtisticRaptor Text from the Isla Sorna Field Guide

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