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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 Biology 9.25
· 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)
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
Published on Aug 1, 2015in Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2.54
Jingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Xiaoting Zheng15
Estimated H-index: 15
(LYU: Linyi University)
+ 6 AuthorsZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The midline pattern of sternal ossification characteristic of the Cretaceous enantiornithine birds is unique among the Ornithodira, the group containing birds, nonavian dinosaurs and pterosaurs. This has been suggested to indicate that Enantiornithes is not the sister group of Ornithuromorpha, the clade that includes living birds and their close relatives, which would imply rampant convergence in many nonsternal features between enantiornithines and ornithuromorphs. However, detailed comparisons...
12 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 3, 2015in PLOS ONE 2.77
Han Hu6
Estimated H-index: 6
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
ZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new sp...
12 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2015
王孝理1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Z.-H. Zhou1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 6 AuthorsC. Sullivan1
Estimated H-index: 1
1 Citations
Published on Dec 1, 2014in Chinese Science Bulletin
Shuang Zhou4
Estimated H-index: 4
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Min Wang11
Estimated H-index: 11
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
We report on a new species of ornithuromorph bird, Iteravis huchzermeyeri gen. et sp. nov., from the previously unreported Sihedang locality of the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation, the oldest ornithuromorph bearing deposit in the world. Unlike most other Cretaceous localities, specimens from this new quarry are largely referable to Ornithuromorpha, similar to the Lower Cretaceous Aptian Xiagou Formation in Gansu Province. Also similar to the Xiagou avifauna, the fauna at Sihedang is largely do...
24 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2014in Journal of Morphology 1.71
Ryan N. Felice3
Estimated H-index: 3
(OU: Ohio University)
Birds are capable of a wide range of aerial locomotor behaviors in part because of the derived structure and function of the avian tail. The tail apparatus consists of a several mobile (free) caudal vertebrae, a terminal skeletal element (the pygostyle), and an articulated fan of tail feathers that may be spread or folded, as well as muscular and fibroadipose structures that facilitate tail movements. Morphological variation in both the tail fan and the caudal skeleton that supports it are well ...
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2014in Biological Journal of The Linnean Society 2.53
Xiaoli Wang17
Estimated H-index: 17
(LYU: Linyi University),
Jingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) [2012CB821906]; National Natural Science Foundation of China [41172020, 41372014]
30 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 26, 2014in PLOS ONE 2.77
Ryan N. Felice3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
Patrick M. O’Connor8
Estimated H-index: 8
Birds exhibit a specialized tail that serves as an integral part of the flight apparatus, supplementing the role of the wings in facilitating high performance aerial locomotion. The evolution of this function for the tail contributed to the diversification of birds by allowing them to utilize a wider range of flight behaviors and thus exploit a greater range of ecological niches. The shape of the wings and the tail feathers influence the aerodynamic properties of a bird. Accordingly, taxa that h...
17 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 2, 2014in PeerJ 2.12
Luis M. Chiappe45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County),
Bo Zhao3
Estimated H-index: 3
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
+ 6 AuthorsXiaodong Cheng4
Estimated H-index: 4
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
The discovery of Hongshanornis longicresta, a small ornithuromorph bird with unusually long hindlimb proportions, was followed by the discovery of two closely related species, Longicrusavis houi and Parahongshanornis chaoyangensis. Together forming the Hongshanornithidae, these species reveal important information about the early diversity and morphological specialization of ornithuromorphs, the clade that contains all living birds. Here we report on a new specimen (DNHM D2945/6) referable to Ho...
30 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2014
Wang Min(王敏)2
Estimated H-index: 2
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Zhou Zhonghe(周忠和)3
Estimated H-index: 3
+ 1 AuthorsZelenkov Nikita1
Estimated H-index: 1
Two new enantiornithine birds,Parabohaiornis martini gen. et sp. nov.,and Longusunguis kurochkini gen. et sp. nov.,are reported here based on three nearly complete skeletons from the Lower Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of the Jiufotang Formation in Liaoning,northeastern China. The two new species share several unique features with Bohaiornis,Shenqiornis,Sulcavis and Zhouornis,including a robust rostrum with robust,subconical teeth,furcula with blunt omal expansions,sternal trabeculae caudolater...
37 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 2014
Hu Han(胡晗)1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Zhou Zhonghe(周忠和)3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
O'Connor(邹晶梅) Jingmai K3
Estimated H-index: 3
Previously known only from the holotype specimen, Pengornis houi is the largest known Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird and important for understanding body size and character evolution in Ornithothoraces. We report on a new subadult specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation referred to Pengornis sp. The specimen preserves a nearly complete sternum, reminiscent of that in Protopteryx and the basal ornithuromorph Archaeorhynchus, confirming the basal position of Pengornis and she...
11 Citations
Cited By11
Newest
Published on Jan 24, 2019in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 2.33
We report a new small enantiornithine, Shangyang graciles gen. et sp. nov., based on a nearly complete and articulated skeleton from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning Province, north-eastern China. Shangyang has premaxillae that are completely fused rostrally as well as along the frontal processes, a previously unrecognized condition in Early Cretaceous birds. As in three other enantiornithine taxa, Shangyang preserves a pair of craniolateral processes in the sternum. Phylogen...
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Published on May 14, 2019in eLife 7.62
Oliver Wm Rauhut (LMU: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich), Helmut Tischlinger3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
Christian Foth11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Fribourg)
The origin of birds and their flight has been heavily debated in the field of evolutionary biology since the late nineteenth century. Birds are the only living descendants of dinosaurs and, for paleontologists, the famous Archaeopteryx has played a pivotal role in this discussion. Living during the Jurassic period about 150 million years ago in what is now southern Germany, Archaeopteryx is generally accepted as the oldest known flying bird. Yet, with the discovery of other bird-like dinosaurs f...
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Published on Feb 12, 2019in Frontiers of Earth Science in China
Federico L. Agnolin17
Estimated H-index: 17
,
Matías J. Motta1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 2 AuthorsFernando E. Novas29
Estimated H-index: 29
Recent years witnessed the discovery of a great diversity of early birds as well as closely related non-avian theropods, which modified previous conceptions about the origin of birds and their flight. We here present a review of currently the taxonomic composition and main anatomical characteristics of those theropod families closely related with early birds, with the aim to analyze and discuss main phylogenetic hypotheses that compete some topics about the non-avian dinosaur-bird transition. We...
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Published on Jan 1, 2019in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 2.38
Jingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Abstract Although direct associations that reveal diet are extremely rare in the fossil record, the rich Lower Cretaceous Jehol Lagerstatte has produced dozens of specimens preserving ingested items, which together reveal important information regarding the early evolution of the avian alimentary canal. Direct evidence indicates Jeholornis and Sapeornis ate seeds and like living granivores utilized a gastric mill although only the more derived Sapeornis possessed a crop for food storage. Despite...
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 2.87
Guillermo Navalón2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UoB: University of Bristol),
Qingjin Meng14
Estimated H-index: 14
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
+ 5 AuthorsLuis M. Chiappe45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)
Abstract The Huajiying Formation contains the earliest deposits of the Jehol Biota, representing the world’s second oldest avifauna. This avifauna includes the early confuciusornithid Eoconfuciusornis zhengi , the oldest occurrence of this clade and one of the earliest divergences of pygostylian birds. Although E. zhengi shows unique traits, the holotype’s immature age makes comparisons with the better known Confuciusornis sanctus problematic. As a result, the taxonomic validity of E. zhengi is ...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2017in Paleontological Journal 0.61
N. V. Zelenkov10
Estimated H-index: 10
(RAS: Russian Academy of Sciences)
New data on the taxonomic and morphological diversity of Early Cretaceous Enantiornithes are reviewed. A new hypothesis concerning the phylogenetic position of Pengornithidae is proposed. These birds traditionally treated as primitive enantiornithines may in fact be more closely related to Ornithuromorpha. This phylogenetic placement implies that the fan-shaped tail and modern-type humeral joint was formed once in the early evolution of birds. Hence, the similarity between Pengornithidae and oth...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2017in Cretaceous Research 1.93
Yan Wang9
Estimated H-index: 9
(LYU: Linyi University),
Han Hu6
Estimated H-index: 6
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 5 AuthorsXiaoting Zheng15
Estimated H-index: 15
(LYU: Linyi University)
Abstract Here we describe the well-preserved skull of a juvenile specimen of Sapeornis, STM 16-18. Only the tail and hindlimb plumage of this specimen have been previously described. It preserves what we consider to be the complete dentition of Sapeornis with four premaxillary teeth, three maxillary teeth and two tiny dentary teeth on each side, the latter feature being previously unknown for this taxon. Based on a study of 71 specimens of Sapeornis preserving dentition, we infer the absence of ...
7 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2017in Palaeoworld 1.09
Corwin Sullivan22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Xing Xu41
Estimated H-index: 41
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Abstract Recently reported specimens from the Mid-Late Jurassic Yanliao (or Daohugou) Biota and Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of Northeast China suggest that the early evolution of avian flight involved a surprising amount of homoplasy and evolutionary experimentation. Pennaceous feathers of variable size, structure, and extent occur on the hindlimbs of numerous Jehol and Yanliao paravian theropods, including some basal birds, and clearly had an aerodynamic function at least in the dromaeosaurid ...
6 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2017in Nature Communications 12.35
Min Wang11
Estimated H-index: 11
,
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
+ 1 AuthorsZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
Although now extinct, Enantiornithes was the most diverse group of birds in the Mesozoic. Here, Wang and colleagues describe a new species of enantiornithine bird from 131 million years ago with features that suggest extensive diversification had occurred in the enantiornithines by this time.
9 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Palaeontology 3.73
Jennifer A. Peteya3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Akron),
Julia A. Clarke27
Estimated H-index: 27
(University of Texas at Austin)
+ 2 AuthorsMatthew D. Shawkey30
Estimated H-index: 30
(University of Akron)
Brilliant colour displays and diverse feather morphologies that are often sexual ornaments are common throughout much of extant Avialae. Here we describe a new basal enantiornithine bird specimen recovered from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning Province in northeastern China. We present new information on the plumage of Bohaiornithidae as well as the first detailed colour reconstruction of an enantiornithine bird. The new specimen retains subadult skeletal characteristics, inc...
5 Citations Source Cite