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Zelenkov, N.V. 2009. Phylogenetic analysis of some Neogene phasianid genera
(Aves: Phasianidae). Paleontological Journal 43(4):438-443. doi:
ABSTRACT: Phylogenetic analysis based on osteological characters of some
Neogene and Recent phasianids is performed. Phylogenetic tree shows close
relationships of Plioperdix with Ammoperdix and Tologuica with
Excalfactoria. Chauvireria is at the base of the clade (Alectoris +
(Coturnix + (Excalfactoria + Tologuica))). Palaeoperdix is relatively close
to the lineage of large pheasants.
Zinoviev, A.V. 2009. An attempt to reconstruct the lifestyle of
confuciusornithids (Aves, Confuciusornithiformes). Paleontological Journal
43(4):444-452. doi: 10.1134/S0031030109040145.
ABSTRACT: The lifestyle of some representatives of the family
Confuciusornithidae is reconstructed based on the analysis of osteological
data, horn structures, and taphonomy. Confuciusornithids, which resemble
extant Phaethon in general appearance, fed on fish, catching them from the
surface layer of freshwater lakes. They rested and probably nested in trees
growing near the basin. When moving in the tree canopy, they used the second
digit of the wing, free from an alula and equipped with a well-developed
claw. Unable to take off from the ground, they used the fourth digit of the
forearm, which was free from feathers, for climbing tree trunks. A pair of
elongated caudal feathers (rectrices) were probably used to attract mates.
Lopatin, A.V., Averianov, A.O., Maschenko, E.N., and Leshchinskiy, S.V.
2009. Early Cretaceous mammals of western Siberia: 2. Tegotheriidae.
Paleontological Journal 43(4):453-462. doi: 10.1134/S0031030109040157.
ABSTRACT: New specimens of the tegotheriid docodont Sibirotherium rossicum
Maschenko et al., 2003, including a maxillary fragment with two posterior
teeth, an isolated upper molar, and mandibular fragments with teeth from the
Early Cretaceous Shestakovo locality are described. The dental formula of
Sibirotherium is I1 + ?C1P6M6?. The upper molars of Sibirotherium, with two
main labial and three lingual cusps, are convergently similar to the molars
of tribosphenic mammals. In the dentary, the symphysis is short and Meckel?s
groove is reduced. Sibirotherium is similar in the structure of lower teeth
to Tegotherium from the Upper Jurassic of Mongolia; it is the latest known
representative of Docodonta.
Eo, S.H., Bininda-Emonds, O.R.P., and Carroll, J.P. 2009. A phylogenetic
supertree of the fowls (Galloanserae, Aves). Zoologica Scripta
38(5):465-481. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00382.x.
ABSTRACT: The fowls (Anseriformes and Galliformes) comprise one of the major
lineages of birds and occupy almost all biogeographical regions of the
world. The group contains the most economically important of all bird
species, each with a long history of domestication, and is an ideal model
for studying ecological and evolutionary patterns. Yet, despite the
relatively large amount of systematic attention fowls have attracted because
of their socio-economic and biological importance, the species-level
relationships within this clade remain controversial. Here we used the
supertree method matrix representation with parsimony to generate a robust
estimate of species-level relationships of fowls. The supertree represents
one of the most comprehensive estimates for the group to date, including 376
species (83.2% of all species; all 162 Anseriformes and 214 Galliformes) and
all but one genera. The supertree was well-resolved (81.1%) and supported
the monophyly of both Anseriformes and Galliformes. The supertree supported
the partitioning of Anseriformes into the three traditional families
Anhimidae, Anseranatidae, and Anatidae, although it provided relatively poor
resolution within Anatidae. For Galliformes, the majority-rule supertree was
largely consistent with the hypothesis of sequential sister-group
relationships between Megapodiidae, Cracidae, and the remaining Galliformes.
However, our species-level supertree indicated that more than 30% of the
polytypic genera examined were not monophyletic, suggesting that results
from genus-level comparative studies using the average of the constituent
species' traits should be interpreted with caution until analogous
species-level comparative studies are available. Poorly resolved areas of
the supertree reflect gaps or outstanding conflict within the existing
phylogenetic database, highlighting areas in need of more study in addition
to those species not present on the tree at all due to insufficient
information. Even so, our supertree will provide a valuable foundation for
understanding the diverse biology of fowls in a robust phylogenetic
Chang, S.-C., Zhang, H., Renne, P.R., and Fang, Y. 2009. High-precision
40Ar/39Ar age for the Jehol Biota. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,
Palaeoecology 280(1-2):94-104. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.06.021.
ABSTRACT: Abundant fossils of the terrestrial Jehol Biota, including plants,
insects, dinosaurs, birds, mammals and freshwater invertebrates, were
discovered from the Yixian Formation and the overlying Jiufotang Formation
in Inner Mongolia, Hebei Province and Liaoning Province, northeastern China.
Because of the exceptional preservation of fossils, the Jehol Biota is one
of the most important Mesozoic lagerstätten and is referred to as a
?Mesozoic Pompeii?. The Jehol Biota has provided a rare opportunity to
address questions about the origin of birds, the evolution of feathers and
flight, the early diversification of angiosperms and the timing of placental
mammal radiation. Six tuff samples and two basalt samples collected from the
Tuchengzi, the Yixian and the Jiufotang formations near the classic outcrops
in western Liaoning, NE China yielded high-precision 40Ar/39Ar ages. We
obtain an age of 129.7 ± 0.5 Ma for a basaltic lava from the bottom of the
Yixian Formation and an age of 122.1 ± 0.3 Ma for a tuff from the lowermost
part of the overlying Jiufotang Formation. Our age results provide an age
calibration of the whole Yixian Formation and show that the whole formation
was deposited entirely within Early Cretaceous time over an interval of ~ 7
Demathieu, G., and Demathieu, P. 2009. Vertebrate/invertebrate trackways.
Ichnos 16(4):268-273. doi: 10.1080/10420940802686053.
ABSTRACT: The Ichnology Workshop held in 1998 in Bornholm, DK, evidenced
significant differences between approaches used for studying vertebrate and
invertebrate ichnites. In particular, trackways are used more in
invertebrate ichno-studies than in vertebrate studies. This is due to the
intrinsic characteristics of each category, primarily the multiple
consequences of the order of magnitude gap in sizes, the opportunity to have
more taxonomic information of the trackmaker with vertebrate ichnites, the
usefulness of correlations with biotopes and facies with invertebrate
ichnites, and practical parameters such as the probability of findings. That
vertebrate and invertebrate ichnologists exchange ideas could certainly
bring progress, however, significant differences between the two fields
certainly remain. Using information on animal behavior to define
ichnotaxobases would not be acceptable for most vertebrate tracks.
Jerry D. Harris
Director of Paleontology
Dixie State College
225 South 700 East
St. George, UT 84770 USA
Phone: (435) 652-7758
Fax: (435) 656-4022
"Experience is what you get when
you didn't get what you wanted."