Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 834–838 | Cite as

Liaoxiornis delicatus gen. et sp. nov., the smallest Mesozoic bird

  • Lianhai Hou
  • Peiji Chen


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.


Mesozoic early bird evdution of birds 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lianhai Hou
    • 1
  • Peiji Chen
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Vertebra Paleontology und PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Nanjing Instittue of Gology and PaleontologyChinese Academy of SciencesChina

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