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Hollanda luceria - new terrestrial bird from the Late Cretaceous

(The paper contains a morphometric analysis based on relative phalangeal 
lengths of the third toe, which finds that _Hollanda_ plots with "ground 
foragers" such as the roadrunner, chuaco, and wild turkey.  The morphology of 
the hallux indicates that the first toe was rotated to form part of an 
anisodactyl foot.  So although inferred to be a "cursorial predator" and a 
ground nester, it's clear that _Hollanda_ evolved from an arboreal ancestor.  
This fits with _Hollanda_'s fairly derived position within the bird clade.)

Alyssa K. Bell, Luis M. Chiappe, Gregory M. Erickson, Shigeru Suzuki, Mahito 
Watabe, Rinchen Barsbold, and K. Tsogtbaatar.  Description and ecologic 
analysis of _Hollanda luceria_, a Late Cretaceous bird from the Gobi Desert 
(Mongolia).  Cret. Res,. in press doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2009.09.001    

Abstract: "Avian fossils from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia provide 
significant scientific insight into the evolution of early birds, primarily due 
to the scarcity of continental interiors with a well-documented avifauna in the 
Cretaceous record. This paper describes in detail the anatomy and histology of 
a new taxon of early ornithuromorph bird, _Hollanda luceria_, from the Barun 
Goyot Formation at Khermeen Tsav in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The new taxon 
is represented exclusively by hindlimb elements, and is characterized by having 
elongated hindlimbs with an extremely reduced metatarsal IV and an unusual 
tibiotarsal-femoral articulation centered on a highly peaked lateral articular 
facet of the tibiotarsus. Cladistic and ecospace analyses were also carried out 
in order to infer evolutionary relationships and ecology of this primitive 
bird. These analyses indicate that the new taxon is a previously undescribed 
lineage of basal ornithuromorph and
 an outgroup of Ornithurae (sensu Chiappe, 2002), which may have had a 
cursorial lifestyle similar to that of the modern roadrunner, _Geococcyx