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Zhouornis (Enantiornithes) skull details (free pdf)



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper in open-access PeerJ:


Yuguang Zhang, Jingmai O’Connor, Liu Di, Meng Qingjin, Trond Sigurdsen
& Luis M. Chiappe (2014)
New information on the anatomy of the Chinese Early Cretaceous
Bohaiornithidae (Aves: Enantiornithes) from a subadult specimen of
Zhouornis hani.
PeerJ 2:e407
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.407
https://peerj.com/articles/407/


Enantiornithines are the most diverse avian clade in the Cretaceous.
However, morphological specializations indicative of specific
ecological roles are not well known for this clade. Here we report on
an exquisitely well-preserved specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol
Group of northeastern China, which pedal morphology is suggestive of a
unique ecological specialization within Enantiornithes. The morphology
of the new specimen is largely indistinguishable from that of the
holotype of the bohaiornithid enantiornithine Zhouornis hani, albeit
the latter is somewhat larger. The new specimen provides important and
previously unknown details of the skull of Zhouornis hani, which add
to the limited knowledge about the cranial anatomy and evolution of
enantiornithines. The information offered by the new specimen also
augments our understanding of the postcranial morphology of
bohaiornithid enantiornithines, a clade that has been only recently
recognized. With the description of this specimen, Zhouornis hani
becomes one of the most anatomically complete known enantiornithine
species, which will facilitate future morphological studies.