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Gansus zheni, new species of ornithuromorph bird from Lower Cretaceous of China

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Di Liu, Luis M. Chiappe, Yuguang Zhang, Alyssa Bell, Qingjin Meng,
Qiang Ji & Xuri Wang (2014)
An advanced, new long-legged bird from the Early Cretaceous of the
Jehol Group (northeastern China): insights into the temporal
divergence of modern birds.
Zootaxa 3884 (3): 253–266
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3884.3.4
Full pdf:


We describe a new ornithuromorph bird species, Gansus zheni from the
Lower Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of the Jiufotang Formation (Jehol
Group), Liaoning Province, China. A cladistic analysis resolves Gansus
zheni as the sister taxon of the roughly contemporaneous Gansus
yumenensis (Xiagou Formation, Gansu Province), and together as the
most immediate outgroup to Ornithurae. Gansus zheni is the most
advanced bird known today for the Jehol Biota. Its discovery provides
the best-documented case of inter-basinal correlations (Jehol and
Changma basins of Liaoning and Gansu provinces, respectively) using
low-taxonomic clades of fossil birds. The existence of close relatives
of Ornithurae in deposits formed at about 120 million years ago helps
to mitigate the long-standing controversy between molecular and
paleontological evidence for the temporal divergence of modern birds