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Otogornis genghisi



Yet another Early Cretaceous bird fossil has been described from
China, in the following paper:

Hou, L., 1994. "A Late Mesozoic Bird from Inner Mongolia,"
_Vertebrata PalAsiatica 32_(4): 258-266 + 1 plate [in Chinese
with English summary].

The new bird is named _Otogornis genghisi_, and the type specimen
(IVPP V.9607) is an incomplete pectoral girdle plus partial wing.
The humerus is about 3 cm long. Neither skull, vertebrae, hind
limbs, nor feet are preserved. The English summary notes,
"_Otogornis genghisi_ possesses a combination of primitive and
derived features which indicate an intermediate form between
_Archaeopteryx_ and later forms, such as _Sinornis_,
_Cathayornis_, and _Chaongia_ [_sic_: for _Chaoyangia_]. It is
primitive in that its long bones are thick-walled, and the
humerus lacks any pneumatic fossa or pneumatic foramen."

_Otogornis_ is classified as a problematic enantiornithan bird,
having "...the following characters shared with the Late
Cretaceous _Enantiornis_: (1) a straight scapula; (2) coracoid 
long, with a supra-coracoid foramen; (3) humerus with a capital 
groove. However, the latter [_Enantiornis_, I guess] shows its 
more advanced feature in the presence of a sulcus m. 
supracoracoidei at the coracoid and pneumatic fossa at the 
humerus."

_Otogornis_ is from the Yijinholuo Formation (L. Cret.) of
Chaibu-Sumi, Otog-qi (after which the genus is named), Yikezhao-
meng, Inner Mongolia. The trivial name honors Genghis [Khan],
first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty in China.

G.O.