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Yanornis citation and other Chinese birds stuff



From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org
Yanornis citation and other Chinese birds stuff

Daniel Bensen's bird portaits
Quite appealing portraits of the new birds--I might even 
want them as pets! Since I haven't read the Longipteryx 
paper in detail or seen the full text of the Yanornis, I 
can't make a technical criticism at the moment. I'm not 
certain exactly what type of tail feathers Yandangornis 
might have had--maybe males were colorful and females were 
drab. One detail about the name Longipteryx needs to be 
corrected, though.

Longipteryx "long wing"
The Greek word pteryx could mean either a wing or a 
feather. The Chinese name for Longipteryx is chang yi 
niao "long wing bird" while Caudipteryx is called wei yu 
long "tail feather dragon." It's clear from the 
descriptions that the name Longipteryx should be read as 
a "long-winged bird," referring to its unusually long 
wings. Note that the English abstract states that "It is 
different from other opposite birds with its long 
forelimbs."

No "mystery" birds in Yanornis/Yixianornis abstract
I've been able to work my way through the Chinese abstract 
for the Yanornis and Yixianornis, thanks in good part to 
Michael's work. However, the various other birds mentioned 
turn out to be ones everybody has heard of once I checked 
the Chinese names: Chaoyangia, Songlingornis, 
Confuciusornis, Eoenantiornis, Archaeopteryx and the 
Enantiornithes.

Chinese jin niao = Neornithes or Ornithurae
After additional checking, it appears that the Chinese 
term jin niao "modern bird" can be translated either as 
Neornithes or Ornithurae. Since most Chinese 
paleontologists currently use Ornithurae, I think it's the 
term that fits for the Yanornis abstract and caption.

Yanornis citation
Here's my most recent translation of the article title (I 
may refine it a bit more when I post the abstract):
Zhou Zhonghe & Zhang Fucheng, 2001.[Two new genera of 
ornithurine birds from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoxi  
involved in the origin of modern birds.] Kexue Tongbao 46
(5): 371-377 

Yanornis Zhou & Zhang , 2001
Yixianornis Zhou & Zhang, 2001

I'll have the text of the abstract ready soon.  Of course, 
it'll be out in the official English version in a few 
months!