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Re: Ornithurine diversity
> How well do we know enantiornithean tail shapes? Is this
> thread just an
> inference from the long pygostyle?
Not too well - there's only a limited number of the limited number of
sufficiently complete fossils that preserves feather impressions. But until
now, the exclusive association of rectric(i)al bulbs and a short pygostyle (as
per the _Yixianornis_ description) seems to hold true.
In any case, this was just a throwaway remark; I think the best candidate is
geography. We know that the basal lineages of Neornithes (as far as we known
them) as well as the basal lineages of crown Galloanserae are Gondwanan. The
fossil record of Enantiornithes from Gondwana is only reasonably comprehensive
in South America, but these seem to have been quite derived forms (_Lectavis_,
_Yungavolucris_ come to mind). As long as there are no accessible
Campanian-Maastrichtian strata in Byrd Land, Australia is probably the place to
dig for a solution.
(From the phylogenetic aspect, Albian-Turonian strata might be more
interesting. As far as I can tell, "around 100 million years ago" seems to be a
nice and reasonable guesstimate for the origin of Neornithes)
> > pigeons and doves.
> "And"? I thought these were synonyms, or at most
> one was the cover term for
> the other? ~:-|
pigeons - larger, shorter tail
doves - smaller, longer tail
As the "typical" pigeons are _Columba_ and the "typical" doves are
_Streptopelia_ to most people - almost closest living relatives - the term has
no scientific meaning.
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