[ 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019