Document Detail

Insight into the early evolution of the avian sternum from juvenile enantiornithines.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23047674     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The sternum is one of the most important and characteristic skeletal elements in living birds, highly adapted for flight and showing a diverse range of morphologies. New exceptional material of young juvenile specimens from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group in northeastern China reveals the unique sequence of development in the sternum of Enantiornithes, the dominant clade of Cretaceous birds. We recognize six ossifications that together form the sternum, three of which were previously unknown. Here we show that although basal living birds apparently have retained the dinosaurian condition in which the sternum develops from a bilateral pair of ossifications (present in paravian dinosaurs and basal birds), the enantiornithine sternal body primarily develops from two unilateral proximo-distally arranged ossifications. This indicates that although superficially similar, the sternum formed very differently in enantiornithines and ornithuromorphs, suggesting that several ornithothoracine sternal features may represent parallelism. This highlights the importance of ontogenetic studies for understanding homology and the evolution of skeletal features in palaeontology.
Xiaoting Zheng; Xiaoli Wang; Jingmai O'Connor; Zhonghe Zhou
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature communications     Volume:  3     ISSN:  2041-1723     ISO Abbreviation:  Nat Commun     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101528555     Medline TA:  Nat Commun     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1116     Citation Subset:  IM    
1] Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Linyi University, Linyi 276000, China. [2] Tianyu Natural History Museum of Shandong, Pingyi 273300, China.
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