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Parvavis, first enantiornithine bird from Upper Cretaceous of China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A paper in the new JVP:

Min Wang, Zhonghe Zhou & Guanghui Xu (2014)
The first enantiornithine bird from the Upper Cretaceous of China.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(1): 135-145
DOI:10.1080/02724634.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02724634.2013.794814#.UswoBvRDty8

A new Late Cretaceous avian taxon, Parvavis chuxiongensis, gen. et sp.
nov., is reported here based on an incomplete skeleton from Upper
Cretaceous lake deposits in Yunnan Province, southern China. A
phylogenetic analysis of 32 taxa and 242 morphological characters
resulted in three most parsimonious trees, the strict consensus tree
of which places Parvavis chuxiongensis within Enantiornithes.
Histological study shows that the bones of Parvavis were composed of
parallel-fibered bone tissue without lines of arrested growth, and
indicated that growth rate had slowed but had not stopped at any stage
prior to death. The bones also lack the rough surface texture seen in
juvenile birds. Therefore, the new bird was probably close to adult
body size at the time of death. However, the specimen is surprisingly
small, highlighting the wide range of body sizes in Upper Cretaceous
enantiornithines. The new specimen also represents both the first
known bird from the Upper Cretaceous of China and the first Mesozoic
bird from the south of China, and thus extends the temporal and
geographic range of Mesozoic birds in China.