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Early Adaptive Radiation of Birds

The following may be of interest. The full text can be read on-line at
http://www.sciencemag.org/science/ -

SCIENCE, 15 November 1996, Volume 274, Number 5290

Early Adaptive Radiation of Birds: Evidence from Fossils from Northeastern China

L. Hou, L. D. Martin, Z. Zhou, A. Feduccia

ABSTRACT: " Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous birds from northeastern
China, including many complete skeletons of
_Confuciusornis_, provide evidence for a fundamental dichotomy in the class
Aves that may antedate the temporal
occurrence of the Late Jurassic _Archaeopteryx_. The abundance of
_Confuciusornis_ may provide evidence of avian
social behavior. Jurassic skeletal remains of an ornithurine bird lend
further support to the idea of an early separation of
the line that gave rise to modern birds. _Chaoyangia_, an ornithurine bird
from the Early Cretaceous of China, has
premaxillary teeth."

Also, in the same issue: PALEONTOLOGY: Early Birds Rise From China Fossil
Beds, SCIENCE 15 Nov 1996; 274
(5290):1083 (in News).

                                             -= Tuck =-
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