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Liaoningornis revised as enantiornithine (free pdf!)

From: Ben Creisler

Another paper in the new issue of Vertebrata PalAsiatica:

Jingmai K. O’CONNOR (2012)
Vertebrata PalAsiatica 50(1): 25-37
free pdf link:

Many of the earliest discovered ornithurine birds from the Jehol Group
in northeastern China are highly fragmentary; this current study on
the only known specimen of Liaoningornis longidigitrus, first
described by Hou in 1997, indicates that the taxon is in fact a member
of the Enantiornithes. Although based on fragmentary and poorly
preserved material, the absence of a well-developed sternum, lack of
developed cnemial crests on the tibiotarsi and reduced pedal unguals
suggests Liaoningornis should be excluded from the more advanced
ornithothoracine clade. The taxon remains distinct from all known
enantiornithes, although it shows similarity to the Spanish taxon
Eoalulavis hoyasi; shared features of the sternum suggest a close
relationship between these two, although disparity from other
enantiornithies suggests this may be an artifact of ontogeny. The only
Liaoningornis specimen is too fragmentary to be able to make strong
inferences about its placement within the diverse enantiornithine