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New *Yanornis* paper in upcoming Naturwissenschaften
Zhou, Zhonghe, Julia Clarke, Fucheng Zhang & Oliver Wings, 2004.
Gastroliths in Yanornis: an indication of the earliest radical
diet-switching and gizzard plasticity in the lineage leading to living
birds? Naturwissenschaften, in press.
Abstract: *Yanornis martini* is an Early Cretaceous basal ornithurine bird.
Its fish-eating diet was previously recognized from a discrete mass of
disarticulated fish remains discovered in its abdominal region. A new
complete and articulated specimen of *Yanornis martini* preserves abundant
in-situ gastroliths such as have been associated with a herbivorous diet. We
suggest that the occurrence of gastroliths in this specimen, fish remains in
a second, and the lack of gastroliths in three others, is consistent with
diet-switching in *Yanornis martini*. Incompatibility of the preserved data
with explanations of the grit as an artifact of preservation or result of
accidental ingestion is discussed. This discovery indicates the earliest
presence of intermittent diet change (and associated gizzard plasticity)
observed in extant birds seasonally and in response to changes in available
Also a new trematosauroid temnospondyl is reported from the Junggar Basin.
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