Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jeholornis palmapenis

Fig 1.- A reconstruction of Jeholornis palmapenis.

A new paper just came out (I am not quite sure if the pun in the abstract is intended):

New species of Jeholornis with complete caudal integument
Jingmai K. O'Connor, Chengkai Sun, Xing Xu, Xiaolin Wana & Zhonghe Zhou
Historical Biology,  Available online: 29 Nov 2011

Abstract: The Early Cretaceous long bony-tailed bird Jeholornis prima displays characters both more basal than Archaeopteryx and more derived, exemplifying the mosaic distribution of advanced avian features that characterises early avian evolution and obfuscates attempts to understand early bird relationships. The current diversity of Jeholornithiformes is controversial, since multiple possibly synonymous genera were named simultaneously. Here, we provide the first definitive evidence of a second species belonging to this clade, and erect the new taxon J. palmapenis sp. nov. This new specimen reveals the tail integument of Jeholornithiformes, the morphology of which appears to have no aerodynamic benefit suggesting this clade evolved plumage patterns that were primarily for display.

Original artworks on Paleoexhibit are copyrighted to Nobu Tamura. Do not use without permission (Email: nobu dot tamura at yahoo dot com)

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