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[proh-toh-ey-vis] /ˌproʊ toʊˈeɪ vɪs/
a fossil bird of the genus Protoavis, from the Triassic Period, having a birdlike, partly toothless jaw structure, a tail and hind legs resembling those of the dinosaur, and the hollow bones and keellike breast that are characteristic of modern birds: the oldest known avian type, preceding the archaeopteryx by an estimated 75 million years.
Origin of protoavis
< New Latin (1986), equivalent to Greek proto- proto- + Latin avis bird Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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