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A nearly modern amphibious bird from the early cretaceous of northwestern China

You, HL and Lamanna, MC and Harris, JD and Chiappe, LM and O'Connor, J and Ji, SA and Lü, JC and Yuan, CX and Li, DQ and Zhang, K and Lacovara, KJ and Dodson, P and Ji, Q (2006) A nearly modern amphibious bird from the early cretaceous of northwestern China. Science, 312 (5780). 1640 - 1643. ISSN 0036-8075

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Three-dimensional specimens of the volant fossil bird Gansus yumenensis from the Early Cretaceous Xiagou Formation of northwestern China demonstrate that this taxon possesses advanced anatomical features previously known only in Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic ornithuran birds. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Gansus within the Ornithurae, making it the oldest known member of the clade. The Xiagou Formation preserves the oldest known ornithuromorph-dominated avian assemblage. The anatomy of Gansus, like that of other non-neornithean (nonmodern) ornithuran birds, indicates specialization for an amphibious life-style, supporting the hypothesis that modern birds originated in aquatic or littoral niches.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
You, HL
Lamanna, MC
Harris, JD
Chiappe, LM
O'Connor, J
Ji, SA
Lü, JC
Yuan, CX
Li, DQ
Zhang, K
Lacovara, KJ
Dodson, P
Ji, Q
Date: 16 June 2006
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Science
Volume: 312
Number: 5780
Page Range: 1640 - 1643
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1126/science.1126377
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Planetary Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0036-8075
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 16:45
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:55


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