A mid-Cretaceous enantiornithine (Aves) hatchling preserved in Burmese amber with unusual plumage

Published on Sep 1, 2017in Gondwana Research 5.66
· DOI :10.1016/j.gr.2017.06.001
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Jingmai K. O'Connor19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 4 AuthorsMing Bai14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Abstract
Abstract Burmese amber has recently provided some detailed glimpses of plumage, soft tissues, and osteology of juvenile enantiornithine birds, but these insights have been restricted to isolated wing apices. Here we describe nearly half of a hatchling individual, based on osteological and soft tissue data obtained from the skull, neck, feet, and wing, and identified as a member of the extinct avian clade Enantiornithes. Preserved soft tissue provides the unique opportunity to observe the external opening of the ear, the eyelid, and fine details of tarsal scutellation. The new amber specimen yields the most complete view of hatchling plumage and integument yet to be recovered from the Cretaceous, including details of pterylosis, feather microstructure, and pigmentation patterns. The hatchling was encapsulated during the earliest stages of its feather production, providing a point for comparisons to other forms of body fossils, as well as isolated feathers found in Cretaceous ambers. The plumage preserves an unusual combination of precocial and altricial features unlike any living hatchling bird, having functional remiges combined with sparse body feathers. Unusual feather morphotypes on the legs, feet, and tail suggest that first generation feathers in the Enantiornithes may have been much more like contour feathers than the natal down observed in many modern birds. However, these regions also preserve filamentous feathers that appear comparable to the protofeathers observed in more primitive theropods. Overall, the new specimen brings a new level of detail to our understanding of the anatomy of the juvenile stages of the most species-rich clade of pre-modern birds and contributes to mounting data that enantiornithine development drastically differed from that of Neornithes.
  • References (45)
  • Citations (18)
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References45
Published on Mar 1, 1998in Nature 41.58
Cristiano Dal Sasso8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Marco Signore2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Bristol)
The Lower Cretaceous Pietraroia Plattenkalk (Benevento Province, southern Italy) has been known since the eighteenth century for its beautifully preserved fossil fishes. During Albian time (about 113 Myr ago 1 ), deposition of fine marly limestone in a shallow lagoonal environment, affected by cyclic periods of low oxygen levels 2 , led to exceptional preservation of soft tissue in a juvenile theropod. The specimen, diagnosed here as Scipionyx samniticus gen. et sp. nov., is the first dinosaur e...
104 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 2, 2016in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 2.33
Min Wang11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Han Hu2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Zhiheng Li7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Texas at Austin)
Enantiornithes is the most diverse Mesozoic avian clade. Approximately half of the known global diversity of Enantiornithes is from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. The Jehol enantiornithines are usually articulated and complete, but the bones are overlain by each other and preserved in two dimensions, severely limiting the number of cranial characters that can be recognized. Here we describe a new enantiornithine bird, Pterygornis dapingfangensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Jehol Biota...
10 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2015in Nature Communications 12.35
Huixia Luo6
Estimated H-index: 6
,
Jason W. Krizan13
Estimated H-index: 13
+ 6 AuthorsR. J. Cava80
Estimated H-index: 80
Skutterudites are a family of materials whose properties make them appealing for studying thermoelectric, magnetic, heavy-fermion and superconducting effects, among many others. Through a combination of theoretical and experimental approaches, this study identifies 43 new skutterudite compounds.
317 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2001in Nature 41.58
José Luis Sanz1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County),
Luis M. Chiappe1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Spanish National Research Council)
+ 4 AuthorsBernardino P. Pérez-Moreno8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Autonomous University of Madrid)
22 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2013in Nature 41.58
Xiaoting Zheng14
Estimated H-index: 14
,
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
+ 4 AuthorsMin Wang29
Estimated H-index: 29
Newly discovered fossils of primitive birds from China, preserved with ovarian follicles intact, show that birds only had one functioning ovary at any given time from a very early date, but that other features, such as skeletal and sexual maturity, remained very dinosaur-like.
48 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2001in Nature 41.58
Anusuya Chinsamy26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Cape Town),
Andrzej Elz˙anowski7
Estimated H-index: 7
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59 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 26, 2010in Records of The Australian Museum 0.46
Gareth J. Dyke26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University College Dublin),
Gary Kaiser6
Estimated H-index: 6
It has been suggested that relative egg size in living birds is strongly correlated with the developmental mode of the young; "altricial" (helpless) or "precocial" (independent). Using a data set of extant taxa we show that altricial birds lay relatively larger eggs than their precocial counterparts but that this may be due to the small size of most altricial species. Smaller birds tend to lay relatively small eggs compared to large species. Nonetheless, a predictive egg mass-body mass relations...
23 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2009in Journal of Anatomy 2.48
Danielle Dhouailly3
Estimated H-index: 3
(French Institute of Health and Medical Research)
In zoology it is well known that birds are characterized by the presence of feathers, and mammals by hairs. Another common point of view is that avian scales are directly related to reptilian scales. As a skin embryologist, I have been fascinated by the problem of regionalization of skin appendages in amniotes throughout my scientific life. Here I have collected the arguments that result from classical experimental embryology, from the modern molecular biology era, and from the recent discovery ...
70 Citations Source Cite
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Luis M. Chiappe42
Estimated H-index: 42
(American Museum of Natural History),
Jorge O. Calvo7
Estimated H-index: 7
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92 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2003in Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 2.87
R.D Cruickshank1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Ko Ko1
Estimated H-index: 1
Abstract Amber (‘Burmite’) from the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar has been known since at least the 1st century AD. It is currently being produced from a hill known as Noije Bum, which was first documented as a source of amber in 1836. Several geologists visited the locality between 1892 and 1930. All of them believed that the host rocks to the amber are Tertiary (most said Eocene) in age, and this conclusion has been widely quoted in the literature. However, recent work indicates a Cretaceous age. ...
379 Citations Source Cite
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  • Citations (18)
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Cited By18
Published on Dec 1, 2017in Nature Communications 12.35
Enrique Peñalver17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Instituto Geológico y Minero de España),
Antonio Arillo14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Complutense University of Madrid)
+ 5 AuthorsRicardo Pérez-de la Fuente10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Oxford)
Ticks are currently among the most prevalent blood-feeding ectoparasites, but their feeding habits and hosts in deep time have long remained speculative. Here, we report direct and indirect evidence in 99 million-year-old Cretaceous amber showing that hard ticks and ticks of the extinct new family Deinocrotonidae fed on blood from feathered dinosaurs, non-avialan or avialan excluding crown-group birds. A †Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick is entangled in a pennaceous feather. Two deinocrotonids...
15 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Molecular Biology and Evolution 10.22
Ping Wu21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of Southern California),
Jie Yan3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Southern California)
+ 8 AuthorsWen-Hsiung Li93
Estimated H-index: 93
(Academia Sinica)
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2018in Palaeontology 3.73
Evan T. Saitta5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Bristol),
Rebecca Gelernter1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Jakob Vinther26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Bristol)
Identifying feather morphology in extinct dinosaurs is challenging due to dense overlapping of filaments within fossilized plumage and the fact that some extinct feather morphologies are unlike those of extant birds or those predicted from an ‘evo-devo’ model of feather evolution. Here, we compare a range of dinosaur taxa with preserved integumentary appendages using high-resolution photographs to better understand fossil feather morphology and gain insight into their function and evolution. A s...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Scientific Reports 4.12
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Benjamin Sames9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Vienna)
+ 3 AuthorsMing Bai14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (~99 Ma, Myanmar), widely known for exquisite preservation of theropods, also yields microfossils, which can provide important contextual information on paleoenvironment and amber formation. We report the first Cretaceous ostracod in amber—the gigantic (12.9 mm) right valve of an exclusively marine group (Myodocopa: Myodocopida) preserved in Burmese amber. Ostracods are usually small (0.5–2 mm), with well-calcified carapaces that provide an excellent fossil recor...
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Chinese Science Bulletin
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Jingmai K. O'Connor19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 7 AuthorsJun Fang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(China University of Geosciences)
Abstract Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (∼99 Ma Burmese amber) has become a valuable supplement to the traditional skeletal record of small theropod dinosaurs preserved in sedimentary rocks, particularly for coelurosaurs and enantiornithines. The specimens recovered from this deposit preserve skeletal material and soft tissues in unmatched detail. This provides opportunities to study three-dimensional preservation of soft tissues, microstructure, and pigmentation patterns that are seldom availabl...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 16, 2019in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 2.33
Sha Li2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Yuanyuan Lu2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsMing Bai14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
A new subfamily of Scarabaeidae, †Electrorubesopsinae Bai & Wang subfam. nov., is described from Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (earliest Cenomanian, ∼100 Ma) as the possible sister group of Dynamopodinae. †Electrorubesopsis beuteli Bai & Wang gen. et sp. nov. is the first species of this subfamily, which has probably been long extinct. Its external morphology was analysed and compared with all known genera of Dynamopodinae. A phylogenetic analysis based on 82 morphological characters suggests its ...
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Published on Sep 1, 2018in Cretaceous Research 1.93
Tian Jiang2
Estimated H-index: 2
(China University of Geosciences),
Jacek Szwedo13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Gdańsk),
Bo Wang17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Abstract Dachibangus trimaculatus sp. nov. of a newly established genus Dachibangus gen. nov. from the Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber deposit is described. It is the largest representative of the family known so far, presenting peculiar morphological characters. This finding corroborates wider distribution of Mimarachnidae and their wider ecological spectrum.
5 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Scientific Reports 4.12
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Edward L. Stanley8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Florida Museum of Natural History)
+ 1 AuthorsDavid C. Blackburn20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Florida Museum of Natural History)
Frogs are a familiar and diverse component of tropical forests around the world. Yet there is little direct evidence from the fossil record for the antiquity of this association. We describe four fossil frog specimens from mid-Cretaceous (~99 mya) amber deposits from Kachin State, Myanmar for which the associated fauna provides rich paleoenvironmental context. Microcomputed tomographic analysis provides detailed three-dimensional anatomy for these small frogs, which is generally unavailable for ...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Palaeontology 3.73
Evan T. Saitta5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Bristol),
Thomas G. Kaye8
Estimated H-index: 8
(AmeriCorps VISTA),
Jakob Vinther26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Bristol)
Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Cretaceous Research 1.93
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Andrew J. Ross14
Estimated H-index: 14
(National Museum of Scotland)
+ 2 AuthorsRyan C. McKellar5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Regina)
Abstract Gastropods are generally rare in amber. In this paper we describe an example of exceptional soft-bodied preservation in a fossil terrestrial mollusk-a snail shell with some tissue, including part of the cephalic region (head) with a tentacle and inferred eye stalk, and potentially part of the foot and operculum. The snail, a probable juvenile, is preserved in Burmese amber (Burmite) from Myanmar, of earliest Cenomanian age. Morphological evidence suggests a cyclophoroidean ancestry and ...
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