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Re: 11th Archaeopteryx specimen on display in Switzerland
From: Ben Creisler
Additional links and another video about the 11th Archaeopteryx on
display at the Sauriermuseum near Zurich in Switzerland.
press kit (with quality photos) for the 11th Archaeopteryx (text in German):
Some information from the articles and videos:
The fossil is on display at the Sauriermuseum from November 21, 2012
to April 21, 2013.
Currently, it is not publicly known (or at least revealed) where the
fossil was found in Germany, who prepared the fossil, and who the
private owner is, although the owner is said to be "ripe in years" and
knowledgeable about science. Hans-Jakob Siber, the director of the
Sauriermuseum, has known the owner for 20 years and uses the German
familiar "du" in conversation with him. The owner lent the fossil to
the Swiss museum for free.
There were many paperwork and legal complications involved in bringing
the fossil into Switzerland, however. As a fossil that had been
designated an object of German cultural heritage (Kulturgut), it
created legal precedents. The value-added tax was waived on the fossil
to bring it into Switzerland.
Highlights of the fossil include:
Very well preserved large claws on the forelimbs and feet.
Outlines of feather impressions on the leg, showing feathers along the
lower leg. (From the video and press photo, it's clear that the leg
feathers are not as long as in Microraptor.)
The tail feathers are forked with a distinct V-shaped arrangement,
apparently the first time this has been found in Archaeopteryx.
The skull is only fragmentary, with part of a lower jaw preserved
(visible in the video above and in the detailed press photo).
The rest of the skeleton appears to be nearly intact.
A news story and video (both in German) about the 11th specimen of
Archaeopteryx, revealed last year and not yet scientifically
described. After much bureaucratic effort, the fossil (an official
object of national cultural heritage in Germany) has gone on display
at the Sauriermuseum in Aathal, Switzerland. The video (again in
German) shows details of the fossil and a 3-D computer reconstruction.
video (with computer reconstruction)
A hefty import tax was waived on the fossil to allow it into Switzerland.