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RE: Apsaravis ukhaana, new Mongolian fossil bird





George,
I wish it had been one of your dinobirds, but if BCF is correct, I would think most dinobirds would have occurred in the Jurassic, and perhaps even driven to extinction by Early Cretaceous times. Even if some of them made it to the Upper Cretaceous, wouldn't competition probably restrict their populations in distribution, numbers of species, and/or numbers of individuals (making discovery very improbable)?
As for Apsaravis, I will probably be inserting a plesion for it in my bird classification (as the only known member on "offramp" 6):
......
5 Hesperornithiformes
6 plesion _Apsaravis_
7 Ichthyornithiformes
8 Tinamiformes
......
*******************************************************


From: "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@geol.umd.edu>
Reply-To: tholtz@geol.umd.edu
To: <Dinogeorge@aol.com>, <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: RE: Apsaravis ukhaana, new Mongolian fossil bird
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 08:42:20 -0500

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Dinogeorge@aol.com
>
> Yes, a new fossil bird from Mongolia. Here is the citation and
> abstract, from
> this week's issue of NATURE (freely available at the NATURE
> website). Don't
> know yet (haven't seen the article) whether this is a dinobird or
> a true bird
> farther up the cladogram:
>
"Dinobird"? Urgh.

_Apsaravis_ is found to be the sister taxon to ichthyornithiforms plus Aves
(aka Neornithes), with hesperornithiforms as the next group down the tree.
A bird very similar to primitive modern birds.  Skull is, sadly, very
fragmentary: the dentary tip is toothless, at least.
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