Posts Tagged ‘feather’


Name: »intermediate bird«
Length: ?
Height: ?
Weight: ?
Diet: omnivore
Time: Cretaceous (122 MYA)
Location: Asia (China)

Zhongornis, whenpigsfly-returns.blogsptZhongornis (meaning “intermediate bird”) is a genus of primitive birds that lived during the Early Cretaceous. It was found in rocks of the Yixian Formation in Lingyuan City (China), and described by Gao et al. in 2008.
Zhongornis has only one described species, Zhongornis haoae. The only specimen is a fossil slab and counterslab numbered D2455/6. It is in the collection of the Dalian Natural History Museum. It is a fairly complete skeleton about eight centimeters in length. Pores in the bones and unfused sutures in the skeleton indicate that the specimen was a juvenile, but the authors believe that it was developed enough to erect a new taxon on the basis of its unique morphological characters. There are feather impressions preserved on the right hand and also probable tail feathers preserved near the left foot. Zhongornis had a beaked mouth with no teeth. The tail is proportionately short, has thirteen vertebrae, and no pygostyle. The third finger has only two phalangeal bones, unlike non – avian dinosaurs and Confuciusornis, and more like Enantiornithes and more advanced birds. These features and a cladistic analysis indicate that Zhongornis is the sister group to all pygostylia, meaning that it is intermediate between long – tailed Avialae like Archaeopteryx and more advanced taxa like Confuciusornis.
Zhongornis provides important anatomical information about the evolutionary transition from primitive basal Avialae like Archaeopteryx, which had a long bony tail and a dinosaur-like third finger, to the more advanced birds like the Enantiornithes, which had reduced third fingers and tails fused into rigid pygostyles. Zhonghornis is the only fossil ever found that seems to be intermediate in these features. It appears to have one less bone in the third finger than Archaeopteryx, and one more thanLongipteryx, suggesting that it is an intermediate between the two. Zhongornis also seems to be intermediate in its tail anatomy. It has only thirteen caudal vertebrae, far less than the 22 in Archaeopteryx. None of the vertebral centra are fused, but the last four do form a continuous lateral flange, implying that this specimen had an incipient pygostyle. Previous to this fossil Sanz et al. (1992) suggested that the evolution of the pygostyle may have proceeded as the numerous vertebrae of the tail became very small and highly ankylosed. Zhongornis suggests that shortening of the tail, and a large reduction in the number of vertebrae, preceded the origin of the pygostyle in the evolution of at least one bird lineage.

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Avebrevicauda
Genus: Zhongornis
Species: Z. haoae Gao et al., 2008

Zhongornis, kahless28
Artist: Eloy Manzanero
This image is used by permission and is Copyright© of Eloy Manzanero.
Artist: Eloy Manzanero Contact: Facebook: Deviantat: This image is used by permission and is Copyright© of Eloy Manzanero.
Zhongornis, whenpigsfly-returns.blogspt

Dino Arms Led To Wings

Flight_stages, Lucas, Frederic A.Many dinosaurs, like T. rex, had scrawny arms, but paleontologists have discovered that as dinosaurs gradually evolved bigger arms, they began to stand and move more like birds.
The change, documented in the journal Nature, passed on to the descendants of dinosaurs – birds themselves.
“Our study shows how mass was allocated to the forelimbs, starting in non-flying dinosaurs, to turn them into longer, heavier, more muscular wings that became more and more effective for flapping during flight,” co-author John Hutchinson of the Royal Veterinary College’s Structure and Motion Lab.
Hutchinson and his colleagues used digitizing technology to create 3D images of the skeletons of 17 archosaurs, a group that included living crocodiles and birds as well as extinct dinosaurs. The researchers then digitally added flesh around the skeletons to estimate the overall shape of the body as well as the individual body parts, such as the head, forelimbs and tail.
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Origin Of Flight More Complex

Eosinopteryx-1024x728The discovery of a new bird-like dinosaur from the Jurassic period challenges widely accepted theories on the origin of flight.
Co-authored by Dr Gareth Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Southampton, the paper describes a new feathered dinosaur about 30 cm in length which pre-dates bird-like dinosaurs that birds were long thought to have evolved from.
Over many years, it has become accepted among palaeontologists that birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs called theropods from the Early Cretaceous period of Earth’s history, around 120-130 million years ago. Recent discoveries of feathered dinosaurs from the older Middle-Late Jurassic period have reinforced this theory.
The new ‘bird-dinosaur’ Eosinopteryx described in Nature Communicationsthis week provides additional evidence to this effect.
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New Feathered Tyrannosaur

Meet the largest feathered animal in history – an early version of Tyrannosaurus rex, clad in long, fuzzy filaments. This newly discovered beast has been named Yutyrannus huali, a mix of Mandarin and Latin that means “beautiful feathered tyrant”. And its existence re-opens a debate about whether the iconic T.rex might have been covered in feathers.
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Microraptor Feather Colour

A team of American and Chinese researchers has revealed the color and detailed feather pattern of Microraptor, a pigeon-sized, four-winged dinosaur that lived about 130 million years ago. The non-avian dinosaur’s fossilized plumage, which had hues of black and blue like a crow, is the earliest record of iridescent feather color. The findings, which suggest the importance of display in the early evolution of feathers, will be published in the March 9 edition of the journal Science.
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