Liaoxiornis delicatus gen. et sp. nov., the smallest Mesozoic bird
Recently, a very small and complete bird specimen was collected from theConfuciusornis-bearing Yixian. Formation. This finding represents a new kind of Mesozoic bird, namedLiaoxiornis delicatus. It is characterized by a short skull with teeth, a long neck and a very small sternum with only posterior process; the humeral head is not internally curved, and the hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs.Liaoxiornis delicatus is not only much smaller thanConfuciusomis, but also smaller thanCathayomis and other early Cretaceous birds. It is the smallest bird known from Mesozoic deposit.Liaoxiornis provides new evidence indicating that the early adaptive radiation of birds is complicated.
KeywordsMesozoic early bird evdution of birds
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