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Re: Samrukia, giant Cretaceous bird

From: Ben Creisler

The paper is finally up on the site:

Darren Naish, Gareth Dyke, Andrea Cau, François Escuillié and Pascal
Godefroit (2011) 
A gigantic bird from the Upper Cretaceous of Central Asia.
Biology Letters (advance online publication)
doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0683 

We describe an enormous Late Cretaceous fossil bird from Kazakhstan, known
from a pair of edentulous mandibular rami (greater than 275 mm long), which
adds significantly to our knowledge of Mesozoic avian morphological and
ecological diversity. A suite of autapomorphies lead us to recognize the
specimen as a new taxon. Phylogenetic analysis resolves this giant bird
deep within Aves as a basal member of Ornithuromorpha. This Kazakh fossil
demonstrates that large body size evolved at least once outside modern
birds (Neornithes) and reveals hitherto unexpected trophic diversity within
Cretaceous Aves. 



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