What Remains in the Rock
Last summer, I drove hours out of my way to visit Archaeopteryx. The gorgeous Thermopolis specimen – the only representative of this feathered dinosaur in the United States – is housed in a small display at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. Even though the stop added hours to my marathon drive between Ekalaka, Montana and Dinosaur National Monument, Utah, I couldn’t resist rolling halfway across Wyoming to see the exquisite fossil.
While he was privately excited about the discovery, Darwin didn’t publicly crow about Archaeopteryx as a confirmation of his ideas. Darwin used the feathery theropod to call attention to a bigger, more important fact of paleontology. No one expected that something quite like Archaeopteryx would be found. In fact, many paleontologists