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Confuciusornis
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
Life reconstruction of Confuciusornis
A restoration of Confuciusornis sanctus based on studies of its feather colouration
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Confuciusornithiformes
Family: Confuciusornithidae
Genus: Confuciusornis
Hou, 1995
Type species
Confuciusornis sanctus
Hou, 1995
Referred species
  • Confuciusornis dui (Hou, 1999)
  • Confuciusornis feducciai (Zhang, 2009)
  • Confuciusornis jianchangensis (Li, Wang & Hou, 2010)
  • Confuciusornis sanctus (Hou, 1995)
Synonyms

Confuciusornis is an extinct genus of small birds. 5 species are known, all of them from the Cretaceous and from the Yixian Formation and the Jiufotang Formation in China.

Description[]

Confuciusornis was similar in size to that of a modern crow, with a wingspan of about 0.7 meters (2.3 ft) and a weight of up to 0.5 kilograms.[3] Confuciusornis had an exceptionally large humerus. Like modern birds, Confuciusornis was toothless and had a short tail. Unlike modern birds, Confuciusornis has visible digits on its wings similar to Archaeopteryx.

Paleobiology[]

Based on fossilized rings around the eyes, it is believed that Confuciusornis would have been active during the day. Many specimens have preserved a pair of elongated tail feathers, however since specimens have been found that lack them, showing that this trait may be a red of Sexual dimorphism.

Classification and species[]

5 species of Confuciusornis have been named; C. sanctus, C. dui, C. feducciai,C. jianchangensis, and C. shifan.

In popular culture[]


Gallery[]

Onfuciuos


Footnotes[]

  1. ^ Ivanov, M., Hrdlickova, S. & Gregorova, R. (2001) The Complete Encyclopedia of Fossils. Rebo Publishers, Nederlands. pp. 312
  2. ^ Xu, X. and Norell, M.A. (2006). "Non-Avian dinosaur fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of western Liaoning, China."Geological Journal, 41: 419–437.
  3. ^ a b Nudds, R.L. and Dyke, G.J (2010). "Narrow primary feather rachises inConfuciusornis and Archaeopteryx suggest poor flight ability." Science,328(5980): 887. doi:10.1126/science.1188895
  4. ^ Chiappe, Luis M., Shu-An, Ji, Qiang, Ji, Norell, Mark A. (1999) "Anatomy and systematics of the Confuciusornithidae (Theropoda:Aves) from the Late Mesozoic of northeastern China" "Bulletin of the American museum of Natural History no.242 89pp.
  5. ^ Senter, P. (2006). "Scapular orientation in theropods and basal birds, and the origin of flapping flight." Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 51(2): 305–313.PDF fulltext
  6. ^ Paul, G.S. (2010). "Comment on 'Narrow Primary Feather Rachises inConfuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability.'" Science,330(6002): 320. (15 October 2010). doi:10.1126/science.1192963
  7. ^ Bleiwess, Robert "Development and evolution of avian racket plumes: Fine structure and serial homology of the wire" Journal of Morphology 194:1 pp. 23–39 DOI 5370610.1002/jmor.1051940103
  8. ^ Zhang, F., X. Xu, M.J. Benton, Stuart L. Kearns et al. (2010). "Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds", Nature,463: 1075–1078. See the article online.
  9. ^ e!Science News: The color of dinosaur feathers discovered.
  10. ^ ScienceNOW: The Lost World, Now in Colors by Sverker Lundin. January, 27 2010.
  11. ^ Clarke,,Julia. A. , Norell, Mark. A. (2002) "The Morphology and Phylogenetic Position of Apsaravis ukhaana from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia" American Museum Novitates, No. 3387, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10024.
  12. ^ Li, D., Sulliven, C., Zhou, Z. and Zhang, Z. (2010). "Basal birds from China: a brief review." Chinese Birds, 1(2): 83–96 doi:10.5122/cbirds.2010.0002
  13. ^ Clarke, Julia A., Zhou, Zhonghe, Zhang, Fucheng. (2006) "Insight into the evolution of avian flight from a new clade of Early Cretaceous ornithurines from China and the morphology of Yixianornis grabaui" "Journal of Anatomy" 208:287–308.
  14. ^ Jingmai K. O’connor, Xuri Wang, Luis M. Chiappe, Chunling Gao, Qingjin Meng,Xiaodong Cheng, And Jinyuan Liu (2009). "Phylogenetic support for a specialized clade of Cretaceous enantiornithine birds with information from a new species" Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(1):188–204, March 2009# 2009 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

References[]

  • Dalsätt, J; Zhou, Z; Zhang, F. & Ericson, Per G. P. (2006). Food remains in Confuciusornis sanctus suggest a fish diet. Naturwissenschaften 93(9): 444–446.doi:10.1007/s00114-006-0125-y (HTML abstract)
  • Hou, L; Zhou, Z; Gu, Y. & Zhang, H. (1995). [Description of Confuciusornis sanctus]. Chinese Science Bulletin 10: 61–63.
  • Hou, L.-H; Zhou, Z; Martin, L.D. & Feduccia, A. (1995): A beaked bird from the Jurassic of China. Nature 377: 616–618. doi:10.1038/377616a0 (HTML abstract)
  • de Ricqlès, A.J; Padian, K; Horner, J.R; Lamm, E.-T. & Myhrvold, N. (2003): Osteohistology of Confuciusornis sanctus (Theropoda: Aves). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23(2): 373–386. DOI:10.1671/0272–4634(2003)023[0373:OOCSTA]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract
  • Mayr, G; Pohl, B. & Peters, D. S. (2005). A well-preserved Archaeopteryx specimen with theropod features. Science 310(5753): 1483–1486.doi:10.1126/science.1120331 (HTML abstract) Supporting Online Material
  • Senter, Phil (2006): Scapular orientation in theropods and basal birds, and the origin of flapping flight. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 51(2): 305–313. PDF fulltext
  • Zhou, Z. & Zhang, F. (2003): Jeholornis compared to Archaeopteryx, with a new understanding of the earliest avian evolution. Naturwissenschaften 90: 220–225. PDF fulltext
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