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Fortunguavis, new enantiornithine bird from Lower Cretaceous of China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new bird in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology:


Min Wang, Jingmai K. O’Connor & Zhonghe Zhou (2014)
A new robust enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous of China
with scansorial adaptations.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(3): 657-671
DOI:10.1080/02724634.2013.812101
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02724634.2013.812101#.U2lW6PldXeI


We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Fortunguavis xiaotaizicus,
gen. et sp. nov, from the Lower Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of the
Jiufotang Formation in northeastern China. The new taxon has a
strongly dorsoventrally bowed furcula indicating that enantiornithines
evolved furcular morphologies in parallel with ornithuromorphs. The
new specimen has very robust limbs compared with other
enantiornithines and has an unique foot morphology with metatarsal II
much shorter than metatarsal IV, robust pedal digits, and strongly
recurved pedal unguals. Although recurved unguals characterize
Enantiornithes, the extreme curvature present in Fortunguavis suggests
scansorial specialization in this species. These features hint at a
unique ecology for this taxon and further increase the known diversity
of body plans in Early Cretaceous enantiornithines.