Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 150, Issue 4, pp 783–790

Diversification in an Early Cretaceous avian genus: evidence from a new species of Confuciusornis from China

  • Zihui Zhang
  • Chunling Gao
  • Qingjin Meng
  • Jinyuan Liu
  • Lianhai Hou
  • Guangmei Zheng
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10336-009-0399-x

Cite this article as:
Zhang, Z., Gao, C., Meng, Q. et al. J Ornithol (2009) 150: 783. doi:10.1007/s10336-009-0399-x

Abstract

A new species of Confuciusornis, the oldest known beaked bird, is erected based on a nearly complete fossil from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, northeast China. C. feducciai is the largest and shows the highest ratio of the forelimb to the hindlimb among all known species of Confuciusornis. The skeletal qualitative autapomorphies, including a V-shaped furcula, a rectangular deltopectoral crest, the absence of an oval foramen at the proximal end of the humerus, the very slender alular digit, a relatively much longer ischium which is two-thirds the length of the pubis, and the morphology of sternum, strongly suggest the new specimen is a valid distinctive taxon. Detailed comparison with other described species provides sound evidence for diversification in the Early Cretaceous avian genus Confuciusornis. Anatomical features suggest an arboreal habit of the new bird.

Keywords

Confuciusornis feducciai, sp. nov.Early CretaceousYixian FormationTaxonomyDiversification

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zihui Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chunling Gao
    • 3
  • Qingjin Meng
    • 3
  • Jinyuan Liu
    • 3
  • Lianhai Hou
    • 2
    • 4
  • Guangmei Zheng
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Life SciencesCapital Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Dalian Natural MuseumDalianChina
  4. 4.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina