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Re: Longipteryx chaoyangensis (Aves, Enantiornithes?)

Yekaterina Amalitzkaya (eamalitz@hotmail.com) wrote:

<...are you sure that is an enantiornithine and not an non-avian
maniraptoran? As you say those feathers are very un-avian and
look very like those on the recently discovered Sinic
dromeosaur. I seem to see a dromeosaur like furcula there or I
am dreaming.>

  Zhang et al., refer it to the Enantiornithines. Without having
read the paper, I have no opinion. The abstract which Mickey
Mortimer posted from the website that Jerry Harris brought to
our attention, and the title of the paper, all state it is
refered to the Enantiornithes. I can't say anything else except
from observation of the photograph. It certainly seems to be
quite avian in form, and does not resemble "dinobirds" to the
degree that *Archaeopteryx* does. The hindlegs, pes, thoracic
ribs and region in toto, tail (though kinda obscured), and
somewhat the skull, suggest that this is a bird, probably
pygostylian. What else I can't say. The manus is quite
plesiomorphic with all three well defined digits, large claws on
the second and third fingers but with the first (alular) digit
quite shortened and small, second finger broad so as to suggest
it may have borne quills as in ornithothoracines and
confuciusornithids. The neck is rather long, apparently
elongated relative to the basal condition in Aves, and the skull
is superficially ibis-like, with a decurved rostrum; the pes has
an elongated and reverted hallux, which is distally positioned
in line with the pedal digits 2-4, which are of roughly the same
length, and seems to indicate a perching foot. So, a basal
perching ibis-like bird outside of Threskiornithidae and Neornithes.

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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