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Cretaceous Rahonavis-like bird from Morocco and Hesperornis rossica



(Apologies for inundating this list with messages today - if I had my time again I would have put all 5 references in a single message.)

I haven't come across this journal before (I assume it's Brazilian). Note that the authors still refer to _Rahonavis_ as _Rahona_.

Riff, D., Mader, B., Kellner, A.W.A., and Russell, D. (2004). An avian vertebra from the continental Cretaceous of Morocco, Africa. Arquivos do Museu Nacional Rio de Janeiro. 62(2): 217-223

ABSTRACT: We report the occurrence of an isolated avian dorsal vertebra in Cretaceous strata of Morocco. The specimen was found near Erfoud oasis in the Tafilalt region of southeastern Morocco preserved in a reddish sandstone. It has a large neural canal (ratio height neural canal/cranial articulation surface = 0.67), a feature regarded as a synapomorphy of Aves. Compared to dorsal vertebrae of other Mesozoic birds, the Moroccan specimen is most similar to Rahona ostromi from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. The absence of a developed pleurocoel, however, indicates that it belongs to a distinct taxon. Although the correct phylogenetic position of this specimen within Aves cannot be reliably determined, it most likely represents a basal group. This specimen is significant because it represents the second osteological evidence of a Cretaceous bird from northern Gondwana.


And more stuff has been found for _Hesperornis rossica_. (By "inner fingers" the authors probably mean "inner toes".)


Panteleyev, A.V. Popov, E.V. and Averianov, A.O. (2004). New record of Hesperornis rossicus (Ayes, Hesperornithiformes) in the Campanian of Saratov Province, Russia. Paleontological Research. 8(2): 115-122

ABSTRACT: New materials of Hesperornis rossicus Nessov et Yarkov, 1993 (one complete and one fragmentary tarsometatarsus) from the lower Campanian Karyakino locality in Saratov Province, Russia, show for the first time distal tarsometatarsal morphology for this species and allow reconsideration of its diagnosis. H. rossicus is the most derived species of the genus, having the greatest size for the genus and strongly reduced inner fingers, with undivided trochlea on tarsometatarsus for digits II and III and condyle for digit II completely behind that of digit III. Previous records of Hesperornis sp. from Rychkovo and Hesperornithidae indet. from Bereslavka (both Volgograd Province, Russia) are referred here to H rossicus.



Tim