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[dinosaur] Early Cretaceous Enantiornithine Birds

Ben Creisler

In the new Russian edition of the Paleontological Journal (English translation version not posted yet):

Nikita Zelenkov (2017)
Early Cretaceous Enantiornithine Birds (Aves, Ornithothoraces) and the Origin of the Ornithuromorph Morphological Type.
Paleontological Journal 51 (6):Â 59-73Â (Russian edition)
DOI: 10.7868/S0031031X17060058

A review of new data on the taxonomic and morphological diversity of Early Cretaceous Enantiornithes is provided. A new hypothesis of the phylogenetic position of Pengornithidae is proposed. These birds, traditionally treated as primitive enantiornithines, may in fact be more closely related to Ornithuromorpha. Such phylogenetic placement implies one episode of the formation of the fan-shaped tail and modern-type humeral joint in the early evolution of birds. Similarity between Pengornithidae and other enantiornithines thus may be plesiomorphic. The ecology of Early Cretaceous enantiornithines is discussed. The increased neck movability of Holbotia may be explained by the cranioinertial swallowing mechanism, as in modern ratites. Iâcriticize hypotheses of the scansorial adaptations in Parapengornis and Fortunguavis. Iâfurther discuss the phylogenetic position of Mystiornis.

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