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A diminutive perinate European Enantiornithes reveals an asynchronous ossification pattern in early birds

Published on Dec 1, 2018in Nature Communications11.88
· DOI :10.1038/s41467-018-03295-9
Fabien Knoll15
Estimated H-index: 15
(University of Manchester),
Luis M. Chiappe45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)
+ 11 AuthorsJosé Luis Sanz29
Estimated H-index: 29
(UAM: Autonomous University of Madrid)
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Abstract
Fossils of juvenile Mesozoic birds provide insight into the early evolution of avian development, however such fossils are rare. The analysis of the ossification sequence in these early-branching birds has the potential to address important questions about their comparative developmental biology and to help understand their morphological evolution and ecological differentiation. Here we report on an early juvenile enantiornithine specimen from the Early Cretaceous of Europe, which sheds new light on the osteogenesis in this most species-rich clade of Mesozoic birds. Consisting of a nearly complete skeleton, it is amongst the smallest known Mesozoic avian fossils representing post-hatching stages of development. Comparisons between this new specimen and other known early juvenile enantiornithines support a clade-wide asynchronous pattern of osteogenesis in the sternum and the vertebral column, and strongly indicate that the hatchlings of these phylogenetically basal birds varied greatly in size and tempo of skeletal maturation.
  • References (46)
  • Citations (3)
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References46
Newest
Published on Nov 2, 2017in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology2.31
Han Hu6
Estimated H-index: 6
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Jingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: 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 ...
Min Wang11
Estimated H-index: 11
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Zhiheng Li8
Estimated H-index: 8
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
ZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Abstract Bird skeletons exhibit remarkable modifications that allow for flight. The most distinguishable features are the fusion of the bones in the hand, feet, and pelvis into composite rigid and bony structures. However, the historical origins of these avian bone fusions remain elusive because of the rarity of transitional fossils and developmental studies on modern birds. Here, we describe an Early Cretaceous bird (120 Mya) that has fully fused alular-major metacarpals and pelvis. We discuss ...
Published on Apr 1, 2017in Nature Communications11.88
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.
Published on Jan 1, 2017
Marian Fregenal-Martínez6
Estimated H-index: 6
,
Nieves Meléndez16
Estimated H-index: 16
+ 2 AuthorsRaúl de la Horra8
Estimated H-index: 8
The Southwestern Iberian Domain (Southiberian Basin) corresponds to one of the five palaeogeographic domains into which the Iberian Basin was divided during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting stage. Although it was already known that this domain was clearly separated into two sub-basins, Cuenca and Valencia, the amelithostratigraphic scheme was assumed to be applicable to the whole domain. In the last decades, new data have been incorporated to the knowledge of the Serrania de Cuenca and...
Published on Nov 1, 2016in Nature Communications11.88
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...
Published on Aug 1, 2016in Journal of Anatomy2.64
Stig A. Walsh15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Edin.: University of Edinburgh),
Angela C. Milner15
Estimated H-index: 15
(Natural History Museum),
Estelle Bourdon7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Wild Center)
The evolution of the avian brain is of crucial importance to studies of the transition from non-avian dinosaurs to modern birds, but very few avian fossils provide information on brain morphological development during the Mesozoic. An isolated specimen from the Cenomanian of Melovatka in Russia was described by Kurochkin and others as a fossilized brain, designated the holotype of Cerebavis cenomanica Kurochkin and Saveliev and tentatively referred to Enantiornithes. We have previously highlight...
Published on Dec 1, 2015in Scientific Reports4.01
Guillermo Navalón2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UoB: University of Bristol),
Jesús Marugán-Lobón2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UoB: University of Bristol)
+ 2 AuthorsAngela D. Buscalioni24
Estimated H-index: 24
(UAM: Autonomous University of Madrid)
Despite a wealth of fossils of Mesozoic birds revealing evidence of plumage and other soft-tissue structures, the epidermal and dermal anatomy of their wing’s patagia remain largely unknown. We describe a distal forelimb of an enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous limestones of Las Hoyas, Spain, which reveals the overall morphology of the integument of the wing and other connective structures associated with the insertion of flight feathers. The integumentary anatomy, and myological and...
Published on Nov 1, 2015in Nature43.07
Nadia B. Fröbisch8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Constanze Bickelmann4
Estimated H-index: 4
+ 1 AuthorsFlorian Witzmann18
Estimated H-index: 18
Salamanders are the only tetrapod that can fully regenerate their limbs and tail, a capacity that might be linked to their unique preaxial mode of limb development; here, data from fossils reveal the existence of preaxial polarity in various amphibians from the Carboniferous and Permian periods, suggesting that salamander-like regeneration is an ancient feature of tetrapods that was subsequently lost at least once in the lineage leading to amniotes.
Published on Nov 1, 2015in Nature Communications11.88
Ismar de Souza Carvalho20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UFRJ: 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...
Cited By3
Newest
Published on Jan 30, 2019in Scientific Reports4.01
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Ryan C. McKellar12
Estimated H-index: 12
(KU: 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. ...
Published on Mar 21, 2019in Scientific Reports4.01
Thomas G. Kaye9
Estimated H-index: 9
(AmeriCorps VISTA),
Michael Pittman9
Estimated H-index: 9
(HKU: University of Hong Kong)
+ 3 AuthorsAngela D. Buscalioni24
Estimated H-index: 24
(UAM: 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...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Scientific Reports4.01
Dana Rashid2
Estimated H-index: 2
(MSU: Montana State University),
Kevin Surya (MSU: Montana State University)+ 7 AuthorsJohn R. Horner41
Estimated H-index: 41
(MSU: Montana State University)
The avian tail played a critical role in the evolutionary transition from long- to short-tailed birds, yet its ontogeny in extant birds has largely been ignored. This deficit has hampered efforts to effectively identify intermediate species during the Mesozoic transition to short tails. Here we show that fusion of distal vertebrae into the pygostyle structure does not occur in extant birds until near skeletal maturity, and mineralization of vertebral processes also occurs long after hatching. Ev...