Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A hypothetical genus, based by Hitchcock upon tracks called ornithichnites occurring in the sandstone of Connecticut. The supposititious species of the genus were divided into two groups called
Pachydactyli, with 3 species, and Leptodactyli, with 5 species. Hitchcock, Amer. Jour. Sci., XXIX. 315 (1836).
- n. Plural form of ornithichnite.
“I need only premise further, that the stone itself is a goodly block of metamorphick sandstone, and that the Runes resemble very nearly the ornithichnites or fossil bird-tracks of Dr. Hitchcock, but with less regularity or apparent design than is displayed by those remarkable geological monuments.”
“The first traces of them are found in the ornithichnites of the new red sandstone, and the first fossil -- Archaeopteryx, in the Solenhofen strata, belonging to the Oolite.”
“He brought away some slabs of the recently formed mud, in order that naturalists who were sceptical as to the real origin of the ancient fossil ornithichnites might compare the fossil products lately formed with those referable to the feathered bipeds which preceded the era of the ichthyosaurus and iguanodon.”
“One animal, having a foot fifteen inches in length, (one-half more than that of the ostrich,) and a stride of from four to six feet, has been appropriately entitled, ornithichnites giganteus.”
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