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Bellulia, new bird (Ornithothoraces) from Early Cretaceous of China (preoccupied name!)

Ben Creisler

A new paper. Note that the generic name Bellulia is preoccupied by
Bellulia Fibiger, 2008,  a moth.

Min Wang, Zhonghe Zhou and Shuang Zhou (2016)
A new basal ornithuromorph bird (Aves: Ornithothoraces) from the Early
Cretaceous of China with implication for morphology of early
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 176(1): 207–223
DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12302

Ornithuromorpha is the most derived avian group in the Early
Cretaceous, advanced members of which encompass all living birds
(Neornithes). Here we report on a new basal ornithuromorph bird,
Bellulia rectusunguis gen. et sp. nov., represented by a nearly
complete skeleton from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota in
northeastern China. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis resolved the
new taxon in a basal position that is only more derived than
Archaeorhynchus and Jianchangornis among ornithuromorphs, increasing
the morphological diversity of basal ornithuromorphs. The new specimen
has a V-shaped furcula with a short hypocleidium, a feature otherwise
known only in Schizooura among Cretaceous ornithuromorphs. We discuss
the implications of the new taxon on the evolution of morphology of
primitive ornithuromorphs, particularly of pectoral girdle, sternum
and limb proportion pertaining to powered flight. The preserved
gastroliths and pedal morphology indicate herbivory and lakeshore
adaption for this new species.

Bellulia Fibiger, 2008 ref:

Fibiger, M. 2008: Revision of the Micronoctuidae (Lepidoptera:
Noctuoidea). Part 2, Taxonomy of the Belluliinae, Magninae and
Parachrostiinae. Zootaxa, 1867: 1-136.