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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'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 4 AuthorsMing Bai15
Estimated H-index: 15
(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 (46)
  • Citations (19)
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References46
Newest
Published on Nov 2, 2017in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 2.33
Han Hu6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Jingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The Sihedang locality of the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation is the only recognized ornithuromorph-dominated locality in the Jehol Group of north-eastern China. Here we report on the first enantiornithine from this locality and erect a new taxon Monoenantiornis sihedangia gen. et sp. nov. The holotype and only specimen preserves a rare ontogenetic stage in which the intermedium is ossified but free from the other proximal tarsals and the tibia, consistent with the pattern of ossification that ...
6 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2017in Evolutionary Ecology 2.13
Gerald Mayr32
Estimated H-index: 32
(American Museum of Natural History)
Birds are the only extant tetrapods, which incubate their eggs with body heat in nests outside of soil. Nesting free of sediment is now considered to have evolved comparatively late in avian evolution, within Ornithuromorpha, the clade including modern birds. Egg turning by the breeding adults was identified as an evolutionary corollary of this derived reproductive behavior and is due to a higher albumen content of the egg. An associated increase of egg width in the ornithuromorph subclade Ornit...
7 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2016in Current Biology 9.25
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Ryan C. McKellar5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Regina)
+ 11 AuthorsAlexander P. Wolfe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(University of Alberta)
Summary In the two decades since the discovery of feathered dinosaurs [1–3], the range of plumage known from non-avialan theropods has expanded significantly, confirming several features predicted by developmentally informed models of feather evolution [4–10]. However, three-dimensional feather morphology and evolutionary patterns remain difficult to interpret, due to compression in sedimentary rocks [9, 11]. Recent discoveries in Cretaceous amber from Canada, France, Japan, Lebanon, Myanmar, an...
32 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2016in Nature Communications 12.35
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Ryan C. McKellar5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Regina)
+ 10 AuthorsMartinGLockley38
Estimated H-index: 38
(University of Colorado Denver)
Our knowledge of Cretaceous plumage is limited by the fossil record itself: compression fossils surrounding skeletons lack the finest morphological details and seldom preserve visible traces of colour, while discoveries in amber have been disassociated from their source animals. Here we report the osteology, plumage and pterylosis of two exceptionally preserved theropod wings from Burmese amber, with vestiges of soft tissues. The extremely small size and osteological development of the wings, co...
23 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 Li8
Estimated H-index: 8
(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 Mar 1, 2016in Science Advances
Juan D. Daza14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Sam Houston State University),
Edward L. Stanley9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Florida Museum of Natural History)
+ 2 AuthorsDavid A. Grimaldi40
Estimated H-index: 40
(American Museum of Natural History)
Modern tropical forests harbor an enormous diversity of squamates, but fossilization in such environments is uncommon and little is known about tropical lizard assemblages of the Mesozoic. We report the oldest lizard assemblage preserved in amber, providing insight into the poorly preserved but potentially diverse mid-Cretaceous paleotropics. Twelve specimens from the Albian-Cenomanian boundary of Myanmar (99 Ma) preserve fine details of soft tissue and osteology, and high-resolution x-ray compu...
39 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 26, 2016in Science 41.06
Shuo Wang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Kunming University of Science and Technology),
Chao Shi7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 2 AuthorsLi-Zhi Gao17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Kunming University of Science and Technology)
In the swamps of North Myanmar lies some of the oldest stone in the world. Burmese amber (burmite) is more than 100 million years old ([ 1 ][1], [ 2 ][2]). Unlike more recent ambers from the Baltic Sea ([ 3 ][3]), Dominica ([ 4 ][4]), and India ([ 5 ][5]), burmite formed in the early Cretaceous
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2015in Nature Communications 12.35
Luis Ossa-Fuentes3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
Jorge Mpodozis14
Estimated H-index: 14
,
Alexander O. Vargas13
Estimated H-index: 13
The anklebone (astragalus) of dinosaurs presents a characteristic upward projection, the ‘ascending process' (ASC). The ASC is present in modern birds, but develops a separate ossification centre, and projects from the calcaneum in most species. These differences have been argued to make it non-comparable to dinosaurs. We studied ASC development in six different orders of birds using traditional techniques and spin–disc microscopy for whole-mount immunofluorescence. Unexpectedly, we found the AS...
10 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2015in Nature Communications 12.35
Ismar de Souza Carvalho20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Federal University of Rio de Janeiro),
Fernando E. Novas29
Estimated H-index: 29
+ 3 AuthorsJosé A. Andrade3
Estimated H-index: 3
The fossil record of birds in the Mesozoic of Gondwana is mostly based on isolated and often poorly preserved specimens, none of which has preserved details on feather anatomy. We provide the description of a fossil bird represented by a skeleton with feathers from the Early Cretaceous of Gondwana (NE Brazil). The specimen sheds light on the homology and 3D structure of the rachis-dominated feathers, previously known from two-dimensional slabs. The rectrices exhibit a row of rounded spots, proba...
31 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 1, 2015in Nature Communications 12.35
Huixia Luo14
Estimated H-index: 14
,
Jason W. Krizan14
Estimated H-index: 14
+ 6 AuthorsRobert J. Cava85
Estimated H-index: 85
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.
342 Citations Source Cite
Cited By19
Newest
Published on Jan 30, 2019in Scientific Reports 4.12
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Ryan C. McKellar12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Kansas)
+ 3 AuthorsLuis M. Chiappe45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)
Over the last three years, Burmese amber (~99 Ma, from Myanmar) has provided a series of immature enantiornithine skeletal remains preserved in varying developmental stages and degrees of completeness. These specimens have improved our knowledge based on compression fossils in Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, adding details of three-dimensional structure and soft tissues that are rarely preserved elsewhere. Here we describe a remarkably well-preserved foot, accompanied by part of the wing plumage. ...
Source Cite
Published on Mar 21, 2019in Scientific Reports 4.12
Thomas G. Kaye9
Estimated H-index: 9
(AmeriCorps VISTA),
Michael Pittman9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Hong Kong)
+ 3 AuthorsAngela D. Buscalioni24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Autonomous University of Madrid)
Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence (LSF) is used to identify fully fledged feathering in the hatchling enantiornithine bird specimen MPCM-LH-26189, supporting precocial nesting behavior in this extinct group. The LSF results include the detection of a long pennaceous wing feather as well as cover feathers around the body. The LSF technique showed improved detection limits over and above synchrotron and UV imaging which had both been performed on this specimen. The findings underscore the value of usi...
Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2019in Cretaceous Research 1.93
E. E. Perkovsky11
Estimated H-index: 11
(National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine),
Massimo Olmi10
Estimated H-index: 10
+ 1 AuthorsKateryna V. Martynova1
Estimated H-index: 1
(National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)
Abstract Twelve new species of the genus Hybristodryinus Engel, 2005 are described from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber, as follows: H. anomalus sp. nov., H. concavifrons sp. nov., H. cretacicus sp. nov., H. karen sp. nov., H. kayin sp. nov., H. konbaung sp. nov., H. ligulatus sp. nov., H. magnificus sp. nov., H. mon sp. nov., H. nalae sp. nov., H. pyu sp. nov., H. shan sp. nov. The genus is characterized and compared with other genera of the Dryinidae. New keys to the species of Hybristodryinus ar...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Cretaceous Research 1.93
Iwona Kania6
Estimated H-index: 6
,
Maciej Wojtoń1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Wiesław Krzemiński10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Polish Academy of Sciences)
Abstract The oldest known representative of the genus Mycetobia, Mycetobia myanmara sp. nov., is described from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber.
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 16, 2019in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 2.33
Sha Li3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Yuanyuan Lu3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsMing Bai15
Estimated H-index: 15
(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 ...
Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2019in Cretaceous Research 1.93
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Andrew J. Ross17
Estimated H-index: 17
(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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Published on Jan 1, 2019in Palaeontology 3.73
Evan T. Saitta4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Bristol),
Thomas G. Kaye9
Estimated H-index: 9
(AmeriCorps VISTA),
Jakob Vinther27
Estimated H-index: 27
(University of Bristol)
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Published on Dec 1, 2018in Scientific Reports 4.12
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Edward L. Stanley9
Estimated H-index: 9
(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 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 AuthorsWANXiaoqiao14
Estimated H-index: 14
(China University of Geosciences)
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...
6 Citations Source Cite