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Houornis, new genus for Cathayornis caudatus Hou, 1997, Cretaceous bird



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new advance paper:

Min Wang & Di Liu (2015)
Taxonomical reappraisal of Cathayornithidae (Aves: Enantiornithes).
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (advance online publication)
DOI:10.1080/14772019.2014.994087
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14772019.2014.994087#.VL0yOUfF_To

A complete redescription of Cathayornis caudatus Hou, 1997 is provided
based on new information from a resin cast of the holotype, leading to
reinterpretation of many morphological features of this initially
poorly diagnosed taxon. Detailed comparisons across various specimens
referred to Cathayornithidae Zhou et al., 1992 indicate that Sinornis
santensis, Cathayornis yandica, C. caudatus and Eocathayornis walkeri
are valid taxa, but that C. chabuensis should be regarded as a nomen
dubium. The holotype and referred specimens of C. chabuensis differ
significantly in morphology, indicating that they do not belong to the
same species. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis targeted at
Mesozoic birds reveals that neither Cathayornithidae Zhou et al., 1992
nor Cathayornis Zhou et al., 1992 are monophyletic, and that C.
yandica can be regarded as the only species in a monospecific
Cathayornithidae. The holotype of ‘C. caudatus’ is assigned to the
genus Houornis gen. nov., and a taxonomic reassessment of other
‘cathayornithids’ is presented.