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Meaning of protoavis

pro•to•a•vis

Pronunciation: (prō"tō-ā'vis), [key]
— n.
  1. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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