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An Enantiornithine with a Fan-Shaped Tail, and the Evolution of the Rectricial Complex in Early Birds.

Published on Jan 1, 2016in Current Biology9.19
· DOI :10.1016/j.cub.2015.11.036
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Xiaoli Wang17
Estimated H-index: 17
(LYU: Linyi University)
+ 3 AuthorsZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
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Abstract
Summary The most basal avians Archaeopteryx and Jeholornis have elongate reptilian tails. However, all other birds (Pygostylia) have an abbreviated tail that ends in a fused element called the pygostyle. In extant birds, this is typically associated with a fleshy structure called the rectricial bulb that secures the tail feathers (rectrices) [1]. The bulbi rectricium muscle controls the spread of the rectrices during flight. This ability to manipulate tail shape greatly increases flight function [2, 3]. The Jehol avifauna preserves the earliest known pygostylians and a diversity of rectrices. However, no fossil directly elucidates this important skeletal transition. Differences in plumage and pygostyle morphology between clades of Early Cretaceous birds led to the hypothesis that rectricial bulbs co-evolved with the plough-shaped pygostyle of the Ornithuromorpha [4]. A newly discovered pengornithid, Chiappeavis magnapremaxillo gen. et sp. nov., preserves strong evidence that enantiornithines possessed aerodynamic rectricial fans. The consistent co-occurrence of short pygostyle morphology with clear aerodynamic tail fans in the Ornithuromorpha, the Sapeornithiformes, and now the Pengornithidae strongly supports inferences that these features co-evolved with the rectricial bulbs as a "rectricial complex." Most parsimoniously, rectricial bulbs are plesiomorphic to Pygostylia and were lost in confuciusornithiforms and some enantiornithines, although morphological differences suggest three independent origins.
  • References (31)
  • Citations (11)
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References31
Newest
#1Jingmai K. O'Connor (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 22
#2Xiaoting Zheng (LYU: Linyi University)H-Index: 15
Last.ZHOUZhonghe (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 47
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#1Han Hu (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 6
#2Jingmai K. O’Connor (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 9
Last.ZHOUZhonghe (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 47
view all 3 authors...
#1Shuang Zhou (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 4
#2Jingmai K. O’Connor (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 9
Last.Min Wang (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 11
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#1Xiaoli Wang (LYU: Linyi University)H-Index: 17
#2Jingmai K. O'Connor (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 22
Last.ZHOUZhonghe (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 47
view all 6 authors...
#1Luis M. Chiappe (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)H-Index: 45
#2Bo Zhao (AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)H-Index: 3
Last.Xiaodong Cheng (AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)H-Index: 4
view all 9 authors...
Cited By11
Newest
#1Oliver Wm Rauhut (LMU: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
#2Helmut TischlingerH-Index: 3
Last.Christian Foth (University of Fribourg)H-Index: 11
view all 3 authors...
#1Guillermo Navalón (UoB: University of Bristol)H-Index: 2
#2Qingjin Meng (AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)H-Index: 14
Last.Luis M. Chiappe (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)H-Index: 45
view all 8 authors...
#1Yan Wang (LYU: Linyi University)H-Index: 9
#2Han Hu (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 6
Last.Xiaoting Zheng (LYU: Linyi University)H-Index: 15
view all 8 authors...
#1Corwin Sullivan (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 22
#2Xing Xu (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 41
Last.Jingmai K. O’Connor (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 9
view all 3 authors...
#1Jennifer A. Peteya (University of Akron)H-Index: 3
#2Julia A. Clarke (University of Texas at Austin)H-Index: 27
Last.Matthew D. Shawkey (University of Akron)H-Index: 30
view all 5 authors...
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