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Basal birds from China (free pdf)

 Ben Creisler

I don't recall seeing this article mentioned (apologies 
if I missed it). The pdf can be downloaded for free. 
Also, this is a new journal called Chinese Birds that 
might be worth monitoring for paleobird content in the 



Dongsheng LI , Corwin SULLIVAN , Zhonghe ZHOU1, Fucheng 
ZHANG, 2010. Chinese Birds 2010, 1(2) 83-96. 

We use the term ?basal birds? for a relatively small 
number of primitive fossil birds that fall outside the 
major clade Ornithothoraces, which includes both modern 
birds and enantiornithines. Eight genera and twelve valid 
species have been reported from China in the last 15 
years, whereas Archaeopteryx lithographica remains the 
only basal bird to have been described from non-Chinese 
specimens (although confuciusornithid material is 
apparently present in North Korea). Here we briefly 
review the Chinese basal birds and their anatomy, 
phylogeny and ecology. Chinese fossils have contributed 
extensively to scientific understanding of early avian 
evolution, demonstrating collectively that basal birds 
were generally relatively large and morphologically and 
ecologically quite diverse. Although some significant 
uncertainties remain, particularly with respect to the 
relative phylogenetic positions of Jeholornis, Sapeornis 
and Zhongornis, an increasingly clear picture of the 
first stages of avian evolution is emerging from the 
Chinese fossil