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A fully feathered enantiornithine foot and wing fragment preserved in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber

Published on Jan 30, 2019in Scientific Reports 4.12
· DOI :10.1038/s41598-018-37427-4
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)
Abstract
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. These body parts were likely dismembered, entering the resin due to predatory or scavenging behaviour by a larger animal. The new specimen preserves contour feathers on the pedal phalanges together with enigmatic scutellae scale filament (SSF) feathers on the foot, providing direct analogies to the plumage patterns observed in modern birds, and those cultivated through developmental manipulation studies. Ultimately, this connection may allow researchers to observe how filamentous dinosaur ‘protofeathers’ developed—testing theories using evolutionary holdovers in modern birds.
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Published on Apr 1, 2019in Experimental Dermatology 2.61
Danielle Dhouailly25
Estimated H-index: 25
,
Pascal Godefroit20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)
+ 3 AuthorsOlav T. Oftedal12
Estimated H-index: 12
(SERC: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)
While every jawed vertebrate, or its recent ancestor, possesses teeth, skin appendages are characteristic of the living clades: skin denticles (odontodes) in chondrichthyians, dermal scales in teleosts, ducted multicellular glands in amphibians, epidermal scales in squamates, feathers in birds, and hair-gland complexes in mammals, all of them showing a dense periodic patterning. While the odontode origin of teleost scales is generally accepted, the origin of both feather and hair is still debate...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Nature Communications 12.35
Fabien Knoll15
Estimated H-index: 15
(University of Manchester),
Luis M. Chiappe45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County)
+ 11 AuthorsFrancisco Serrano3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UMA: University of Málaga)
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 ligh...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2018in Science Advances
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Michael W. Caldwell32
Estimated H-index: 32
(U of A: University of Alberta)
+ 9 AuthorsHongliang Shi1
Estimated H-index: 1
(BFU: Beijing Forestry University)
We present the first known fossilized snake embryo/neonate preserved in early Late Cretaceous (Early Cenomanian) amber from Myanmar, which at the time, was an island arc including terranes from Austral Gondwana. This unique and very tiny snake fossil is an articulated postcranial skeleton, which includes posterior precloacal, cloacal, and caudal vertebrae, and details of squamation and body shape; a second specimen preserves a fragment of shed skin interpreted as a snake. Important details of sk...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Molecular Biology and Evolution 10.22
Ping Wu23
Estimated H-index: 23
(SC: University of Southern California),
Jie Yan3
Estimated H-index: 3
(SC: University of Southern California)
+ 8 AuthorsWen-Hsiung Li94
Estimated H-index: 94
(AS: Academia Sinica)
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Chinese Science Bulletin
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Jingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 7 AuthorsLIGang16
Estimated H-index: 16
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
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 Sep 1, 2017in Gondwana Research 5.66
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Jingmai K. O'Connor22
Estimated H-index: 22
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 4 AuthorsMing Bai15
Estimated H-index: 15
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
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 externa...
19 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 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
(U of A: 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, 2016
Luis M. Chiappe45
Estimated H-index: 45
,
Meng Qingjin6
Estimated H-index: 6
13 Citations
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