Document Detail

Discovery of an ornithurine bird and its implication for Early Cretaceous avian radiation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16344487     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An ornithurine bird, Hongshanornis longicresta gen. et sp. nov., represented by a nearly complete and articulated skeleton in full plumage, has been recovered from the lacustrine deposits of the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group in Inner Mongolia, northeast China. The bird had completely reduced teeth and possessed a beak in both the upper and lower jaws, representing the earliest known beaked ornithurine. The preservation of a predentary bone confirms that this structure is not unique to ornithischian dinosaurs but was common in early ornithurine birds. This small bird had a strong flying capability with a low aspect ratio wing. It was probably a wader, feeding in shallow water or marshes. This find confirms that the aquatic environment had played a key role in the origin and early radiation of ornithurines, one branch of which eventually gave rise to extant birds near the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. This discovery provides important information not only for studying the origin and early evolution of ornithurines but also for understanding the differentiation in morphology, body size, and diet of the Early Cretaceous birds.
Zhonghe Zhou; Fucheng Zhang
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2005-12-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  102     ISSN:  0027-8424     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2005 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-12-28     Completed Date:  2006-02-06     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  18998-9002     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 643, Beijing 100044, China.
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MeSH Terms
Birds / anatomy & histology*,  classification*
Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology
Flight, Animal*
Comment In:
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 3;103(1):5-6   [PMID:  16380416 ]

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