In 1995, Lianhai Hou and Zhonghe Zhou, two paleontologists from the Vertebrate Paleontology Institute in China, discovered a new fossil bird they named Confuciusornis
. This winged vertebrate—the same age as Archaeopteryx
, approximately 140 million years old and long considered to be the earliest ancestor of all birds and regarded as semi-reptilian. Yet Confuciusornis
bore a very close similarity to birds living today. It had no teeth, and its beak and feathers have exactly the same characteristics as those of birds alive today. This bird’s skeletal structure is identical to that of today’s birds, but as with Archaeopteryx
, its wings had claws.
Also apparent was a structure known as the pygostyle, which supports the tail feathers. Naturally, its presence undermined the evolutionist thesis that Archaeopteryx was the primitive ancestor of all birds.89
Confuciusornis, so similar to modern-day birds, has conclusively disqualified Archaeopteryx, which evolutionists for decades pointed to as the prime evidence for their scenario of evolution.
89 Pat Shipman, “Birds Do It . . . Did Dinosaurs?,” New Scientist, p. 31.