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Wing shape in stem relative of swifts and hummingbirds

From: Ben Creisler

A new non-dino paper of interest:

Daniel T. Ksepka, Julia A. Clark, Sterling J. Nesbitt, Felicia B. Kulp
and Lance Grande (2013)
Fossil evidence of wing shape in a stem relative of swifts and
hummingbirds (Aves, Pan-Apodiformes).
Proceedings of Royal Society B  280 (1761) 20130580
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0580

A feathered specimen of a new species of Eocypselus from the Early
Eocene Green River Formation of Wyoming provides insight into the wing
morphology and ecology in an early part of the lineage leading to
extant swifts and hummingbirds. Combined phylogenetic analysis of
morphological and molecular data supports placement of Eocypselus
outside the crown radiation of Apodiformes. The new specimen is the
first described fossil of Pan-Apodiformes from the pre-Pleistocene of
North America and the only reported stem taxon with informative
feather preservation. Wing morphology of Eocypselus rowei sp. nov. is
intermediate between the short wings of hummingbirds and the
hyper-elongated wings of extant swifts, and shows neither
modifications for the continuous gliding used by swifts nor
modifications for the hovering flight style used by hummingbirds.
Elongate hindlimb elements, particularly the pedal phalanges, also
support stronger perching capabilities than are present in
Apodiformes. The new species is the smallest bird yet described from
the Green River Formation, and supports the hypothesis that a decrease
in body size preceded flight specializations in Pan-Apodiformes. The
specimen also provides the first instance of melanosome morphology
preserved in association with skeletal remains from the Green River