Archaeopteryx: Icon of Evolution

This is a closed, past exhibit; it is not available for viewing.

Archaeopteryx: Icon of Evolution was on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science from April 23 through September 6, 2010. The exhibition was on display at the Houston Musuem of Natural Science in Sugar Land from November 22, 2010 through March 20, 2011.

Most scientists believe that birds evolved from small therapod dinosaurs. The key step was the development of feathers, turning animals that could walk or climb into animals that could fly.

The first fossil discovered with feathers was found in 1861; just two years after Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859. This fossil is known asarchaeopteryx and is the earliest bird known to science.

Archaeopteryx, which lived over 150 million years ago, is a classic example of an evolutionary link between two groups of animals. As of today, there are only ten known specimens of archaeopteryx. This premier exhibition presented some of the finest known fossils from the late Jurassic period showing life at the time of these first birds. Fossils from the world renowned quarries of Solenhofen, Germany were featured.

This exhibition was organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Curator: David Temple

“My ultimate goal in any project is to inspire a love of science,” says David Temple. “Paleontology is a topic that universally gets students excited. It is also multidisciplinary, meaning that virtually all of the sciences contribute to our understanding of the ancient past. So, students are not only excited….


Stay in the know.
Join our mailing list.

$50 could be just a few clicks away

Complete a short five-minute survey about your website experience on

Sure, I'll give feedback