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Piscivoravis, new bird from Lower Cretaceous of China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Shuang Zhou, Zhonghe Zhou & Jingmai O'Connor (2013)
A new piscivorous ornithuromorph from the Jehol Biota.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)
DOI:10.1080/08912963.2013.819504
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08912963.2013.819504#.Uh9iuujn_cs


We report on a new species of basal ornithuromorph bird, Piscivoravis
lii gen. et sp. nov., based on a well-preserved and nearly complete
specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation in western
Liaoning Province, northeastern China. The new specimen preserves
several unique anatomical features previously unreported in Early
Cretaceous ornithuromorphs, such as a robust furcula with strongly
tapered omal tips, a broad sternum without craniocaudal elongation and
large and strongly curved manual unguals. Phylogenetic analysis
indicates that Piscivoravis is more derived than Archaeorynchus, but
in a basal polytomy with Jianchangornis, Patagopteryx, and the clade
including all more derived ornithuromorphs. The preserved wing and
tail feathers provide new information on feather diversity and
evolution in Early Cretaceous ornithuromorphs. The preservation of
fish bones ventral to the dentary and in the stomach provides direct
evidence that the new species was piscivorous – previously only
reported in Yanornis, and as in some living birds, was capable of
moving food bidirectionally through the alimentary canal.


http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:92F23126-9E89-4E51-9700-C6608E0D66EB