‘Haarlem museum archaeopteryx not archaeopteryx’

This video says about itself:

Haarlem, Netherlands museums and big church

17 November 2016

Bringing you into a couple of the really great Haarlem museums, Frans Hals Museum and Teylers Museum, and showing you a few other smaller museums, and into the big church, the Grote Kerk.

Frans Hals Museum is one of the top attractions of Haarlem.

The museum is located in the old part of town in a building that dates back to 1609 and was originally a retirement home for single old men.

Inside are works by many other Haarlem artists of the 17th century. Several stately rooms saved from torn down houses have been partially reconstructed from other Haarlem locations with period furniture and decor.

Of course the main attraction are the paintings – 16 of them by Frans Hals, who lived most of his life in Haarlem, between 1616 and 1664, keeping very busy creating many individual portraits, and especially famous for the large group ensembles.

In this principal room it seems like you have entered a great banquet hall divided up in different tables. And as you walk in it seems all the guests have turned around to look at you. There are groups of officers and administrators of the hospital, life-sized, some of them seated with faces turned to the spectator as if posing for a photograph, some standing, all splendidly decorated.

Hals was the master of showing emotional expression in faces. You really feel as if you know these people, as if you’d met them before. This truth of expression and the jovial character, and the ample rich costumes of the 16th century make it seem like you’re really looking at the Holland of 300 years ago – as if you’re a watching historical play, not just an art gallery. The solo portraits are equally powerful as the groups.

Teylers Museum is the oldest historical museum in the Netherlands and the interior retains that very old-fashioned feeling, like stepping back into 1778 when it was established.

Right away upon entering the first room you’ll notice these display cases with that original feeling.

The room is mostly fossils and bones of old creatures, including some remnants of early human and prehuman, and the first example ever found of the Archaeopteryx, a flying dinosaur.

Next we enter a room filled with the variety of scientific instruments including what had been the world’s largest electrostatic generator from the 18th century, old telescopes, microscopes, recording devices, telephones, whatnot.

A small darkened room showcases luminescent minerals. Then we get to the most famous gallery in the museum. It’s the Oval Room that dates back to its founding in the late 1700s with mineral displays in the center and all around it, scientific instruments from the 18th century. The room was designed for research and study with scientific experiments conducted here, and public demonstrations held – in the upper level archives and a library.

More museums, then the big church, Grote Kerk. This impressive church has been the heart of the city and its most important landmark for centuries. Located right in the middle of the market square, it was built in the Gothic style of architecture, originally as a Catholic Church between 1370 and 1520 when it was finished.

From the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen in Germany:

Early avian evolution: The Archaeopteryx that wasn‘t

December 4, 2017

Paleontologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich correct a case of misinterpretation: The first fossil “Archaeopteryx” to be discovered is actually a predatory dinosaur belonging to the anchiornithid family, which was previously known only from finds made in China.

Even 150 million years after its first appearance on our planet, Archaeopteryx is still good for surprises. The so-called Urvogel has attained an iconic status well beyond the world of paleontology, and it is one of the most famous fossils ever recovered. In all, a dozen fossil specimens have been assigned to the genus. Archaeopteryx remains the oldest known bird fossil, not only documenting the evolutionary transition from reptiles to birds, but also confirming that modern birds are the direct descendants of carnivorous dinosaurs. LMU paleontologist Oliver Rauhut and Christian Foth from the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart have re-examined the so-called Haarlem specimen of Archaeopteryx, which is kept in Teylers Museum in that Dutch city and has gone down in history as the first member of this genus to be discovered.

In the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, Foth and Rauhut now report that this fossil differs in several important respects from the other known representatives of the genus Archaeopteryx. In fact, their taxonomic analysis displaces it from its alleged perch on the phylogenetic tree: “The Haarlem specimen is not a member of the Archaeopteryx clade,” says Rauhut, a paleontologist in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at LMU who is also affiliated with the Bavarian State Collections for Paleontology and Geology in Munich.

Instead, the two scientists assign the fossil to a group of bird-like maniraptoran dinosaurs known as anchiornithids, which were first identified only a few years ago based on material found in China. These rather small dinosaurs possessed feathers on all four limbs, and they predate the appearance of Archaeopteryx. “The Haarlem fossil is the first member of this group found outside China. And together with Archaeopteryx, it is only the second species of bird-like dinosaur from the Jurassic discovered outside eastern Asia. This makes it even more of a rarity than the true specimens of Archaeopteryx,” Rauhut says.

Made in China

The Haarlem specimen was found about 10 km to the northeast of the closest Archaeopteryx locality known (Schamhaupten) a full four years before the discovery of the skeleton that would introduce the Urvogel to the scientific world in 1861. Schamhaupten was once part of the so-called Solnhofen archipelago in the Altmühl Valley in southern Bavaria, the area from which all known specimens of the genus Archaeopteryx originated. Its taxonomic reassignment therefore provides new insights into the evolution of the bird-like dinosaurs in the Middle to Late Jurassic. “Our biogeographical analysis demonstrates that the group of dinosaurs that gave rise to birds originated in East Asia — all of the oldest finds have been made in China. As they expanded westward, they also reached the Solnhofen archipelago,” says Christian Foth. Thus, the fossil hitherto incorrectly assigned to the genus Archaeopteryx must have been one of the first members of the group to arrive in Europe.

Around 150 million years ago, the area known today as the Altmühl Valley was dotted with the coral and sponge reefs and lagoons of the Solnhofen archipelago, and the open sea lay to the West and South. The Haarlem fossil was originally recovered from what was then the eastern end of the archipelago, quite close to the mainland. Unlike Archaeopteryx, anchiornithids were unable to fly, and might not have been able to reach areas further offshore. On the other hand, all true fossils of Archaeopteryx found so far were recovered from the lithographic limestone strata further to the west, closer to the open sea. Based on the new findings, Rauhut argues that other known Archaeopteryx fossils may need reassessment: “Not every bird-like fossil that turns up in the fine-grained limestones around Solnhofen need necessarily be a specimen of Archaeopteryx,” he points out.

The authors of the new study have proposed that the Haarlem specimen be assigned to a new genus, for which they suggest the name Ostromia — in honor of the American paleontologist John Ostrom, who first identified the fossil as a theropod dinosaur.

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