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Re: Paleobirding in China 125 million years ago

Mickey Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:

> That's not Camptodontus' holotype (SG 2005 B1), it's a specimen O'Connor and 
> Chiappe (2011) refer to Longipteryx sp. (DNHM D2889).  They're
> probably the same taxon, but whether it's a different species than L. 
> chaoyangensis, and if so whether it's its sister taxon, requires more work to
> determine.

Both the _Longipteryx chaoyangensis_ holotype and DNHM D2889 show the
long snout and teeth limited to the rostral tip characteristic of
Longipterygidae.  But the teeth of DNHM D2889 are much larger than
those of the _Longipteryx_ holotype - at least, based on the figures
given in O'Connor and Chiappe (2011).

These longipterygids seem to have been quite diverse in the Yixian and
Jiufotang Formations. They even had perching/grasping feet.
Strangely, the pes of one longipterygid (_Rapaxavis_) has everything
you would expect in a perching bird - except that the first metatarsal
appears to be straight, rather than J- or inverted-P-shaped - so the
hallux (first toe) wouldn't be reversed, but pointed forward.  So at
face value, _Rapaxavis_ appears to have had a pamprodactyl foot, not
anisodactyl as in other longipterygids where the pedal elements are
well known.